Brent Weber is entering his eighth year in the People’s Prep English department. He currently serves as an English 1 teacher, a co-founder of the school’s guitar club, and a senior class advisor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism/New Media from Towson University and earned his state teaching certification from Seton Hall University. When not in the classroom, Brent can be found pursuing one of his many passions, like hockey, basketball, swimming, guitar, travel, and vegan cooking. He is a firm believer in the transformative power of writing and encourages his students to find their own creative voice.
As I write this in the thick of the holiday season, college students nationwide are in the midst of finishing up final exams and preparing for the long break. In the case of our alumni, many will spend a part of that break catching up with their council coaches and teachers. I chose not to include the word “former” to describe our coaches and teachers because I think People’s Prep is one of those unique places we all hope to find at least once in our lifetime; a place where no matter how long you’ve been away, you’re always a part of who we are and where we’re headed.
When I was in high school, it would have been hard for me to imagine myself spending time with my teachers outside the classroom. After graduation, any relationships my friends and I had with the faculty were limited to chance encounters around town. So why do so many People’s Prep council coaches maintain long-lasting relationships with their former council members? We do it because we have to.
To be clear, there’s no mandate that requires us to check in on how classes are going, no clause in the employee handbook forcing us to grab dinner, no statute dictating we go ice skating or catch a movie together. When I say we have to see our students, I mean that the alternative would be unthinkable after spending years learning from each other. We don’t just want to know how our councils are doing, it’s in our nature to be sure of it.
Over the recent Thanksgiving break, I had the pleasure of having three of my council members join my friends and family for dinner. At one point during the evening, one of them remarked to my mother that her council was responsible for making me who I am today. She was joking, but I didn’t correct her.
As she and the rest of the class of 2019 will soon return to their respective colleges for the final semester of senior year, I’d like to think they got to this point -in part- because of the bond we started developing nearly eight years ago. While I can’t say where my life would be without my council, I can say it’s a lot fuller with them in it.