The Brooklyn BrainLady

teaching & learning, in a fancy dress

I’m Beth Bucher- special educator and all-around angelic troublemaker. The BrooklynBrainLady is my attempt at a healthier response to commentary on education than banging my head on the table, which scares the bejesus out of my cat. This is my 16th year in education, a fact that receives a range of responses from, “You must be a saint.” to, “Ohmygod, how are you not an alcoholic?” I am neither. However, consciously exploring who I am and what I’m about has definitely contributes to my success as an educator. I’ve never lost sight of the fact that I am learning every day, just like them. It keeps me sane.

A specific passion of mine is teaching students about their own learning disabilities. These young people have been “labeled”, know it and yet- in many cases- know very little about what exactly that means. On the other hand, they know a WHOLE LOT about what it means after 12 years of “field work” (showing up at school every day). Their perspectives are eye-opening and humbling, and the resulting dialogue engenders compassion like nothing I’ve ever attempted in the classroom. It’s magical stuff.

The Brain Lady moniker was actually born during one of these lessons many years ago. It went something like this:

Student: So, if neurons are firing like crazy when you’re a baby can you, like, look at a two-year old and tell that something’s not right?

Beth: What a fantastic question! The short answer is yes.

Student: Oh my god, are you terrified to have kids??? You’re like the brain lady.

Beth: TOTALLY. Aaaaaand, we’re back on topic.

I’m all about student-teacher bonding, but some things are best saved for one’s therapist.

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