Brownstead juggles teaching, coaching and pregnancy during pandemic

Morgan Daniels

When it comes to 2020, life has been odd and unpredictable for everyone. 

That is especially true for Boone history teacher Emily Brownstead, who has had to deal with her first pregnancy on top of a global pandemic.

Brownstead is expecting her baby boy in January of 2021. 

“I am so excited,” she said in regards to her pregnancy. “This is definitely a crazy time to have a baby.”

Being pregnant during a pandemic has made it quite difficult for Brownstead to have a normal pregnancy.

My husband can’t come to the doctor with me, I have had virtual baby showers, and I have mainly stayed at home since April to ensure that I am safe and healthy,” she said.

According to Brownstead, she and her husband have been taking COVID very seriously since the beginning of March to ensure others, her baby, and her own safety. 

They have been doing curbside pick-up at grocery stores and carry-out from local restaurants.

Fortunately, she has been able to have a few small social distancing get-togethers with her friends out on her deck. 

Despite her strange pregnancy, Brownstead has kept a positive attitude.

“It has definitely been a tough year, but I’ve counted my blessings that I am able to be safe and healthy at home,” she said. 

She also said that she is hoping for a safe delivery, a healthy baby, and that her friends and family will get to meet her child in a post-COVID world. 

Pregnancy aside, this year has also been crazy for Brownstead from a teacher’s perspective. 

She is often regarded as an exciting and interactive teacher by many students, which has made online school much different than her typical classroom.

“We all know I can’t sit still, so I’ve got to be up and moving and running around the classroom,” said Brownstead on her teaching style. “I love social studies and history a lot and always strive to make lessons fun and my classroom a place where students look forward to (learning).”

Growing up, Brownstead said she had a brother with special needs, meaning that she learned a large variety of unique teaching methods that she carried with her into college. 

Brownstead mentioned that her background in Forensics, performing, and acting also helps to make her a more interactive teacher. 

“I like to bring the stories alive, make crazy facial expressions, use silly voices, and come up with games and role play activities to bring history to life.”

Brownstead is currently teaching two AP Human Geography courses and a Geography Honors class, as well as co-coaching the forensics team. 

This is her sixth year teaching at Boone, from which she graduated herself in 2010.

Brownstead said that it is really fun to teach where she went to school, and that she “loved Boone and (her) high school experience.”

During high school, Brownstead was on Student Council and in the Helping Hands club, but was most involved in Forensics.

She said that to be “teaching in a classroom (she) sat in for history class and co-coaching a team that is so near and dear to (her) heart really means a lot to (her).”

Brownstead also mentioned how it was odd and funny when she first started teaching at Boone to have to refer to her colleagues by their first names, because she still viewed them as her teachers.

While high school is still many years away, Brownstead said that she would love for her son to be a Boone graduate.

“(I) live in Beechwood school district, but Boone is obviously better,” she said.