Barbara Brager I started teaching in 1971, at Ranney School, a private independent co-educational and preparatory school in Tinton, Falls, New Jersey, first as a teacher, then as a V. Principal, and finally as a Principal of the Lower School retiring in 2002. I started as a classroom teacher of social studies for the 4th and 5th grades, later teaching self contained classrooms in kind., 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 1st grade for 10 years, before becoming a Lower School Mentor Coordinator, a Lead Teacher, a V. Principal of the Lower School and finally as a Principal of the Lower School. As they said in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” “There’s No Place Like Home,” for me “There’s No Place Like Ranney School.” It was my home away from home, here I was given the freedom to be creative, to push the boundaries of conventional education, to ask my students to stretch and explore without being limited to the stringent rules of academia at the time and to have fun with the learning experience. I was always of the belief that “learning can also be fun.” I was the first to bring technology into the classroom in the early 1970’s, we were making movies about the civil war. This is when I got the nickname Cecil B. DeMille, later to be changed in the 1990’s to Steven Speilberg, when I brought the first computer into the classroom. What was so great about this was that my 4th graders knew more about the computer than I did. I loved the idea that they were teaching me! As a V.Principal and as Principal, I was responsible for converting our grading system and report cards to a computer system. I was fortunate to be able to establish 3 computer labs in the lower school, as well as, 2 computers per classroom. As principal I had the opportunity to bring to our lower school a distance learning center, an onsite master’s program for the teachers funded by our ever generous parents’ association, create a mentor program for new students, as well as, new teachers to become better acquainted and acclimated with our school, staff, parents, policies, procedures and philosophy, and worked with Monmouth University to provide placements for prospective teachers during their student teaching. I loved, loved, loved my job! I had the chance to be creative, innovative and inspire generations of students and teachers.
Barbara Brager “To teach is to touch a life forever.” This is a phrase that resonates with the importance of developing highly qualified and caring educators. Education can be equated to a journey, a quest, the search for knowledge. It is the process by which students, acquire understanding and insight. The teacher is the guide, the motivator, the driving force for students, of this challenging endeavor. As teachers, we have an enormous responsibility to make this adventure remarkably inspiring, as well as, informative. The relationship forged between teacher and student has a huge impact on the student’s educational experience. The most positive educational experience is created through a partnership of support, trust, and encouragement. It is important that teachers create a safe and caring environment designed to stimulate a child’s love of learning, promote academic achievement, and an environment that allows a child to take risks without the fear of failing. A secure atmosphere where children learn from their mistakes without feeling embarrassed or rejected, when teachers create a secure and confident environment, children grow and flourish. As an educator, I have made it a priority to create an educational atmosphere that is both challenging and fulfilling, an educational experience that will be remembered and cherished, successfully preparing them to meet the future with confidence and compassion.
Barbara Brager Being a classroom teacher ranks right up there with awards and opportunities that I have been given. Also being promoted to Vice Principal and Principal of Ranney School’s Lower School was an honor I will always cherish. At Ranney in 2002, I was the first teacher to be given the “Carol-Ann Presley Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching.” On more than one occasion, I was asked to be a presenter at the NJAIS Annual Conference.
Barbara Brager Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey M.A.T. Advanced Program/M.S.Ed. Program West Georgia University, Carrollton, Georgia Bachelor of Arts Secondary Education/Social Studies
Barbara Brager After graduating from college with a degree in education, my husband and I moved to Middletown, New Jersey. This was my husband’s home town, and I soon fell in love with the area. In addition to raising our family here, I pursued my career in education at the Ranney School, a private independent co-educational preparatory school in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, which fosters an atmosphere in which a love of learning will become a lifetime goal, first as a teacher, then as V. Principal, and finally as Principal of the Lower School. Ranney School was my home away from home. It is here that I learned the art of being a teacher. I was afforded the opportunity to develop and grow into the teacher I always knew I wanted to be. My students, their families, and my co-workers have enriched my life a thousand times over. It is a lifetime of experiences that I cherish. Upon retiring from Ranney, I was asked to sit on the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital Advisory Board, dedicated to offering the highest level of care for our children close to home, the Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees, committed to the health and well being of the community for which it serves, and Jersey Shore’s University Medical Center Women’s Heart Fund, whose mission is devoted to educating women on the importance of heart health and raising funds to support heart services, programs and technology throughout Meridian Health Cardiovascular Network. The individualistic and compassionate care provided by these organizations is deserving of high praise. I was delighted to say a resounding yes to these most prestigious and auspicious organizations. In addition to my passion for teaching, I am also very enthusiastic about golf and bridge. I am looking forward to bringing this same energy to my TPT adventure!