Biology Teacher Brooke Kobren Bounces Back to Westwood

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Photo courtesy of Brooke Kobren

Ms. Brooke Kobren, a Westwood alumni, returns as an IB and regular biology teacher. Ms. Kobren taught for four years prior to this school year after graduating from Westwood in 2015. “The kids are absolutely fantastic,” Ms. Kobren said. “[I am looking forward to] just getting to know the kids and learning from them.”

Hannah McDonough, Community & World News Editor

At the start of this school year, Biology teacher Ms. Brooke Kobren entered her alma mater once again, this time as a teacher rather than a student.

“It’s interesting being a student and then now a teacher,” Ms. Kobren said. “All the kids and all the other teachers are amazing.”

After graduating from Westwood in 2015, Ms. Kobren attended Butler University in Indiana before a teaching job at Navarro Early College High School. Early on, she wanted to be a doctor, but her career path took her in the direction of teaching instead.

“I wanted to be a doctor [to] help people and make a difference and then I started realizing, ‘What are some other jobs I can do that can make a difference?’,” Ms. Kobren said. “And I’m like, ‘Well, teaching’. You affect kids every single day and everyone has to go to school, so it’s kind of like, ‘Why don’t you become a good teacher so you can have an effect on a kid’s life?’”

Ms. Kobren teaches both regular and IB biology. Her interest in science began at an early age after being taught Punnett squares by her mother. That interest in DNA stemmed into an overall passion for biology.

“Biology is life and everything that we do and [the reason] why we’re living,” Ms. Kobren said. “My parents used to always joke around and be like, ‘Oh you’re adopted,’ and I’m just like, ‘I look exactly like you, that’s not possible’, so my mom [taught] me Punnett squares early on [and] I’m like, ‘See I’m not adopted’.”

Through learning and teaching biology, Ms. Kobren is able to apply that knowledge of biology to everyday life.

“Everything connects to biology and just science in general,” Ms. Kobren said. “[Science] is making mistakes and learning from them and that’s exactly what school and life [is]. You’re not going to be perfect in life, like you’re going to make mistakes and learn from them.”

Being a student at Westwood allowed Ms. Kobren to understand the competitive and difficult nature of the learning environment.

“Just because it’s competitive doesn’t mean you always [need to] compete, you come to school to learn, not [to] be perfect,” Ms. Kobren said. “So if you don’t do the best on your first try, don’t get so hard on yourself and be like, ‘That’s terrible. I’m going to flunk out’. I wasn’t in the top 10 percent, I still went to a fantastic college, I got a fantastic degree, and I have my dream job.”