English teachers Elly Brown and Evan Brown share more than just their last names. Unlike many teacher couples, their serendipitous encounter goes back to their childhood, when Evan moved into the same neighborhood as Elly in middle school. While their brothers shared a tight bond from the start, it was only after college that Elly and Evan saw each other under a new light.
Soon after, living separate lives became a story of the past as Evan and Elly became husband and wife. While Elly landed her teaching career early on, Evan immersed himself in the tech industry, which allowed him just a thin slice of time for his family. The imbalance between his personal family life and work life finally took a toll when the Browns found out they were expecting a child.
Now a year has passed since Evan joined Elly as an English teacher, with much encouragement from Elly. Their teaching styles vary, according to both Elly and Evan. Elly has a more organized classroom, with a structured agenda to encourage each student to speak. On the other hand, Evan is able to lead his class using a more relaxed, yet similarly effective technique.
“I would describe my style as flexible, certainly,” Evan said. “And I’m also trying to draw on contemporary topics and bring those into the classroom as well. Coming from the [tech]industry, something important to me for teaching the young people is formal speaking skills.”
Though their work discussions can often spill over into their home life, they enjoy playing with their daughter outside of school, as well as traveling to new places. They still cherish their memories backpacking through the folds of Europe before their marriage, visiting cities like London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice and Rome.
However, traveling aside, Evan and Elly don’t miss out on a day where they can sling across the couch with a book in their hands.
“I think if you came into Mr. Brown or Mrs. Brown’s classroom, you would not guess that we were both firmly in the introvert camp,” Evan said. “But it’s certainly something I’m more aware of when I go home. We’re very much introverts in our own ways.”
Despite both being introverts, they have some contrasting qualities. Elly believes their differences help them become stronger teachers and people, and so being able to live together has many benefits.
Being new to the school, Evan and Elly have yet to become used to the students. However, they have found their interactions with the student body to be fairly pleasant.
“I think it’s been a pleasant surprise how grateful and polite the students are,” Elly said. “Every single day, as students leave, they say ‘Thank you, Mrs. Brown’ or ‘Have a nice day’ and I haven’t always encountered that in my teaching experiences. I know teaching can be a very thankless job, so it’s nice to have that here.”
Preparing to take on their new jobs and community, Evan and Elly dive into the new year. They have high hopes as they tackle every new challenge that comes their way.
“We were really interested in finding a [good]school that was closer to home,” Elly said. “We’d heard so many wonderful things about MVHS, so we both applied and we are really lucky to be here. So far, we are very impressed with the students here, and even the staff. Everyone seems to be very happy.”
Additional reporting by Aditi Gnanasekar