By: Will Dowling
Having just completed 4 years of teaching at Notre Dame Prep, Ms. Clare Brennan joins the modern language department excited to share her knowledge of and passion for French and Spanish with her students. Ms. Brennan has lived in Baltimore her whole life; she grew up in the northeast corner of the city and attended Dulaney High School. After Dulaney, Ms. Brennan attended Penn State University, and later completed her masters degree at both Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia.
In the coming school year, Ms. Brennan will teach Spanish II, French II and II Honors, and French IV/V. She was not, however, always certain that modern language would be her area of study; in fact, this was “totally a mistake.” Originally, Ms. Brennan was a journalism major, transitioning to become a French major after realizing that it held her true passion. As a result, Ms. Brennan brings incredible enthusiasm to teaching French and thoroughly enjoys all things related to it. This summer, for example, she travelled to Philadelphia to see in concert a musical group that doesn’t come to the United States often because they sing only in French.
Although many of her male relatives attended Loyola-Blakefield, a rival of Gilman in many aspects, Ms. Brennan relishes the opportunity to teach at Gilman, stating that “growing up in Baltimore, [she’s] always known the Gilman name” and the “great reputation” of the school. Gilman similarly presents the opportunity of teaching at an all boys school. While she has previously taught at both coed and all girls schools, Ms. Brennan has never taught at an exclusively male school before. She said, “I’m very much looking forward to it and I’m ready to take on an all boys school. I think it’s going to be very different and fun.”
Students in any of Ms. Brennan’s classes should expect a lively classroom with lots of conversation in French and Spanish. “I don’t stand in front of the room a lot, I do a lot more with partner work,” she said. She believes this effectively allows students to become comfortable with the language they’re learning.
Ms. Brennan looks forward to “really connecting with [her] students and learning what they’re all about.” Ms. Brennan will be a positive addition to the modern language department and to Gilman in general, and we wish her the best of luck for the upcoming school year.