Get to know Brent Harris, new seventh grade homeroom teacher

Brent Harris joins the Mustard Seed faculty as the seventh grade homeroom teacher. He’ll also be teaching seventh and eighth grade language arts.

Where are you from?

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Why did you move to Jersey City? 
Lauren, my wife, is attending Columbia University; I decided to tag along for the ride!

Where did you go to college/what did you study?

I graduated from Calvin College in 2015 with a degree in Grades 6-12 English Education.

What are some of your hopes and dreams for the year? 
First, to understand the schedule. Second, to balance being a loving and caring teacher and a supportive husband.

What do you do in your spare time? 

I love to play my guitar, jog, play sports, play board games, or go camping and hiking!

Do you play other instruments, too? (We heard a rumor…) What type of music do you like?
I learned the drums when I was about six years old.  James Taylor, a talented Bostonian musician, was my inspiration for learning the guitar. I love to play his music, and I also like to use these talents on church praise teams.

Did you read any great books this summer? 
I read a bunch of Ray Bradbury. I read his book “Fahrenheit 451” and a bunch of his Sci-Fi short stories. That man can write!

Has anything surprised you about living in NJ so far? Has anything taken getting used to?
I really love and appreciate the diversity, both in humanity and in food. I’ve had to get used to the concrete, and I still am getting used to it!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Two years ago, I ran my first 25KM race. I just about died (foolishly, I’ve signed up for a marathon in late October… we may need a long-term sub to fill my position come November!).

What do you like about teaching middle school?
I like a lot of things, but mostly, I love the students. Middle school is all about figuring out oneself, and I appreciate being present for that stage in life.

What do you like about teaching language arts?
Through writing, we can learn to make ourselves known; through reading, we can learn to know and empathize with others.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Obvious one: Flying.
Less obvious one: Never have to wash clothes or do dishes.

Favorite pizza toppings?
I don’t think I’m legally allowed to say this in one of America’s pizza capitals, but bacon, ham and PINEAPPLE. Hawaiian. It was invented in Canada (apparently), and I grew up with it as a normal topping option!

Did you/do you play sports or have a favorite sport? 
I love sports! My family is very active, so I was grown in a competitive household. In Canada, I grew up playing three sports that most people south of the Canadian border didn’t: badminton, volleyball and hockey. I LOVE hockey. I’ve played hockey since I was 5 years old. I’m looking for a team to join in Jersey City, so let me know if you have any connections!

Is there anything else that you want to tell us that you think middle school students and their families might want to know?
I love learning about different cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. They deserve to be celebrated. Please include me in those celebrations if possible!

 

Abby Liu

ABBY LIU, Director of Marketing and Communications

Ms. Liu loves to tell the Mustard Seed story. She’s the parent of a current MSS student and a recent alum.