Brooklyn Arnot is our Class Teacher of The Year after countless glowing reviews from her students!
She has been with Art of Smart for over 4 years now tutoring English classes and is getting her diploma for visual arts.
Find out why our students describe Brooklyn as no less than amazing!
Brooklyn, what do you love about being a tutor?
I really love the capacity to make a difference in students’ lives — not only just with improving their marks which is of course amazing, but also being able to become friends with my students and help them through any struggles they’re going through; whether that be mental health struggles or personal struggles.
It’s just really great being able to do life beside them and I have had so many incredible students that I have had the privilege of teaching and I love that they’re able to teach me things, like I teach them.
What are some of your passions and hobbies?
So my main passion/hobby other than English is Visual Arts. I’m currently doing a Diploma in Visual Arts which I love!
I’m also really interested in fairy tales and mythology so that comes into a lot of the art I create, which is themed around those fairytale illustrations — that’s the art I like to create. Basically, things around those ideas of creativity.
I’m a Christian too, so I go to church and I love being able to use my creativity in that area as well.
Check out why Brooklyn thinks you should study HSC Visual Arts, here!
Who is your favourite artist?
Can I answer with my favourite art movement? I really like the Pre-Raphaelite art movement, and that’s similar in English to the Romantic movement which was all about the beauty of nature and the imagination.
What is your favourite fairy tale or myth, Brooklyn?
So I did my honours thesis on a text called ‘Volsunga Saga’ — it’s an Old Norse myth and it’s about this hero, but there’s a lot of strong female characters in it as well which is what I wrote about in my thesis. I think it’s a beautiful lens into the complexities of humanity.
What is your favourite artwork?
It would be hard to choose a favourite but the one coming to mind would probably be ‘The Lady of Shalott’ by John William Waterhouse.
Brooklyn’s favourite artwork, ‘The Lady of Shalott’ by John William Waterhouse: Wikimedia Commons license
How would you describe your teaching style, Brooklyn?
I’d say that my teaching style is very, very individual student-focused. I’m always trying to think creatively and work out creatively how I can work best with individual students.
I don’t think there’s a cookie-cutter one style fits all way to tutor. I think every students’ needs are different and I guess that’s a big way my creativity comes into my tutoring as well — caring about my students, having empathy and care for my students as well as then using that to think creatively about how I can help them best.
Tell us about a particularly memorable moment in class.
There was one moment where one of my students told me that coming to my class was the highlight of his whole week. That was incredible because you wouldn’t think going to your tutoring centre would be the number one thing in your week!
But, he told me that it was the thing that he looked forward to most because we had a really fun class — maybe a little bit too fun. It was just really great to hear that obviously.
Even though we potentially got distracted a little bit, having that environment where you’re having that much fun and that good connection with your classmates, you’re going to learn best in that environment and remember and retain that information better.
What’s the best ‘ah-hah’ moment you’ve had with a student last year, Brooklyn?
Another really great moment that I had, early this year in tutoring is when at the beginning of the lesson one of my incredible students was like, “Oh Brooklyn, I don’t really like poetry very much,” and I was like, “Okay, fair enough. Lots of people don’t.”
But then we went through this poem and the poem we were going through was actually ‘A Valediction Forbidding Mourning’ and, it’s my favourite poem — probably of all time — and I got to tutor it to her. By the end of the lesson, she was like, “Yeah, wow that was really amazing I kind of understand why people like poetry now.”
Not only that, she really agreed with the message of the poem and she felt like it was really able to represent her outlook on life. It was just one of those amazing teacher moments — to go from the beginning of the class, a student saying that they hated poetry, to the end being extremely inspired by the poem.
It’s just the capacity for literature to change people’s life.
What do you think is the key to good teaching?
I think probably empathy and creativity to me are the two big key things. Actually caring about your students — if you don’t actually care about your students I don’t think you can be a good teacher — and also creativity to challenge your students.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given a student?
One piece of advice I’ve given a student before is I think that I’ve told them to imagine that when they go into an exam, that they are a superhero version of themselves or even in some cases, imagine that they’re me, Brooklyn, in their exam.
In exams, one of the big issues we have is our self confidence and the fact that we have that negative self talk where we think that we’re not good enough.
But, if you can get yourself out of your own head and imagine that you’re either this amazing superhero version of yourself or that you are your teacher, that can really help to get rid of that negative self talk and allows you to then sort be the best version of yourself.
What’s something that a student has taught you?
Well actually, the Art School that I’m going to at the moment, two of my students recommended it! So, I wouldn’t have found out about it without two of the students that I tutor that had experience at that school. They were able to direct my path in some ways.
Brooklyn, what’s your long-term professional goal?
So what I would really love to do and what I’ve been dreaming about for years, is opening up my own creative space. What that would involve is having a cafe, having book clubs and philosophy clubs and art classes, writing classes.
Just an open space for people to be working on their creative projects and having this creative hub that people can come to and challenge each others’ thoughts and be creative. That’s my dream to start a business in that area.
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Gabrielle Wong is currently the Digital Marketing Assistant at Art of Smart. She is a second year student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies majoring in Media and Communications and Marketing.