Interview with new high school aide Shamian Bray
Has math always been your favorite subject? If so, why has it always been your favorite subject?
Bray: “Yes, it gives people an opportunity to think logically and to be patient with the outcome of their choices.”
Have you always wanted to help teach students?
Bray: “Yes, yes, all my life.”
Why did you decide to apply for this position?
Bray: “Because whenever I was younger, I wasn’t the best student, so to have those mentors, those coaches and those teachers actually help me and see the talent that I had in math and other courses, it made me want to pass that forward.”
What is your favorite part about your job?
Bray: “When you’re looking at the kids and helping them, to see a kid not know how to do something and then for them to learn how to figure it out, that’s priceless to me.”
How does helping kids make you feel?
Bray: “Seeing that lightbulb go off in their head – that’s a priceless experience. I love to educate. I love to see kids learn new ideas and new ways of thinking to improve their lives.”
Have you liked Rock Creek so far?
Bray: “I love Rock Creek! Off the top, yes, I love Rock Creek, and I love this community. It’s small, and it reminds me of how I grew up, which is not too far from here; it’s just in Stillwater, Oklahoma.”
Where did you attend college?
Bray: “My first college was Bacone College. It was a private school in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and I played football there. It was my very first college experience with football.”
Did you like playing football?
Bray: “I love being in a team environment where it’s not always about you; it’s always about helping each other and helping your team.”
Where did you go to high school at?
Bray: “Stillwater High School in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and I was very popular.”
What was your favorite subject in high school? Was it still math?
Bray: “It was, back then, called business accounting, and you guys call it business math now.”
What is business accounting?
Bray: “Basically, in that class, it teaches you how to manage your money, open up a checking account, how to manage a checking account, how to actually save on a budget, take care of your bills and be responsible with money.”
Last question, did you think that you would be where you are now when you were figuring out what you wanted?
Bray: “No, no.”
Are you happy with where you are now?
Bray: “I’m very happy and satisfied now more than ever, and I’ll explain why. All my life, I wanted to be around educators and be able to mentor and also educate and help those ones kind of falling through the cracks so I can pick those people up to be more successful in life. I believe in allowing kids to be who they are individually and also for those individuals to create their own creativity to problem solve and to use critical thinking.”
Interview by staff member Taylor Lembright
Photo courtesy of Interstate Studios