Henrico’s Top Teachers – Angela Brittingham

Angela Brittingham is a 16-year teaching veteran of fourth-grade at Pemberton Elementary, who has established a well-known presence and made an impact with students, teachers and faculty as she fulfills her goal of being the best teacher she can be.

“Growing up I never really had a favorite teacher,” said Brittingham.”I wanted to teach because I feel like I could be better than what I had and do things differently. I have two children, and I try to be the teacher I would want them to have. That’s my driving force to keep my attitude right and how I treat my students.”

Brittingham attended Virginia Commonwealth University and studied business. It wasn’t until her roommate, an education program student, suggested she take a few education classes that she gave it much thought. After Brittingham enrolled in an education class, she slowly transitioned into the teaching master’s program at VCU.

Brittingham taught kindergarten and first grade in New Kent County, but transferred to Pemberton in 1998. Her longevity at Pemberton and the small school size has allowed her to create a familiarity among students and the opportunity to teach multiple siblings, with many of them returning to visit over the years.

One faculty member described Brittingham as one of a kind.

"Mrs. Brittingham truly cares about her students," she wrote. "She is always looking for new and exciting ways to spark students' imagination. When you walk past her room, you often hear laughter and thoughtful conversation.

"Students adore her; she brings out the best in them and recognizes their individual strengths. It is a true honor to call her a colleague and friend.”

Brittingham’s passion for reading and writing is the catalyst for many class activities. Through one-on-one discussions, she determines the best reading level for the students and their interests. She makes weekly trips to the library to get books for her students.

“I never tell them what they have to read – we go by their reading levels and talk about it,” she said. “It keeps me young. I’m constantly trying to figure out things and keep lessons current so they know I’m in their world. I think the kids want to feel like you know them and understand them. If you respect them, they will respect you.”

Brittingham enjoys teaching at Pemberton because she feels a high level of flexibility and she can focus on the needs and wants of her students. The environment is now a second home to her and she thinks fourth grade is too.

“Everybody at school will do anything to help the kids,” she said. “My students have a great sense of humor and at that age they still need you but are also independent. They are not too wrapped up in peers, like students in middle school, and academics aren’t picking up yet, like in high school. Fourth grade truly is the perfect in-between, and that’s why I have been able to make it work for so long.”
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

September 2017

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Kick start your Weekend on Wednesday at the Short Pump W.O.W. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Short Pump Park, 3329 Pump Rd. Kids can explore the playground and four-legged friends can run in the dog park while you check out local food trucks for dinner. Danny Kensy will provide the entertainment. For details, call 652-1441 or visit http://www.henrico.us/rec. Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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