Brooke (Jacobs) Crossman
Class of 2000
What have you done since you graduated?: "I graduated with a degree in Human Services and a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting. I went on to get my National Interpreter Certification through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Inc.
“I spent some time working at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford and then accepted a position at the Forman School. Forman is a co-ed college prep school in Litchfield, dedicated to empowering high school students who learn differently. I have been at Forman for 16 years where some of my positions include World Languages Department Chair, American Sign Language Teacher, Houseparent, and Community Service Coordinator."
Why did you choose that career path?: “I found teaching by accident. My goal was to go out into the world and enter the profession of sign language Interpreting but I was given information about an opportunity to teach at a private school close to home. I interviewed and was hired. I found a love of teaching very quickly, knowing that what I do daily truly makes a difference in the lives of young people. I believe that what we sometimes set our minds to do is not always what we are meant to be doing but just go with your heart and you will find your way.”
What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?: “I loved my time at Gilbert. I made lifelong friends and married my high school sweetheart. My family bleeds blue and gold! My now-husband, once my high school sweetheart, found his way back to Gilbert educating the amazing students there now. I visit often with our son and it warms my heart to watch athletic contests, attend concerts and performances, and see all of the incredible transformations that take place throughout the halls that I once roamed. I love seeing my former teachers and even watching some of my former classmates' children get to experience TGS now as students!”
What lessons from Gilbert have you applied to the real world?: “I remember the fun, engaging classes that I had at Gilbert and I incorporate that into my teaching and classroom. It’s so important to build strong, healthy relationships with your students and from there you can teach them anything. If you don’t capture their hearts, it’s challenging to captivate their minds. I remember having teachers, coaches, and mentors that cared about me at Gilbert and that made a difference in my education. I am constantly learning new things from listening to my student's stories which is one of my favorite things about being a teacher. If you make a student feel important and heard, you can learn so much from them!”
What advice would you give to current students at Gilbert?: “I would say enjoy every moment! This sounds so cliche but my best piece of advice would be to appreciate the time you get to spend at TGS and your high school career. It goes by so quickly and you can never get that time back. I feel like most of my high school students are always rushing to graduate and get out. Once you’ve entered the real world, you will wish you could go back to these days. So enjoy them while they are here! Don’t take anything for granted.”