Education — an opportunity for all

Browning took long road to becoming a teacher


Marcos Estrada

Ron Browning rights a lesson plan on the board. Browning was a journalist before becoming a teacher.

Mariangel Morales, staff writer website says: “Not counting after-school programs, most American kids spend about six hours a day at school, a little less at lower grades, and a little more at higher grades.”

School is a place that we come to every day and we spend a good part of the day. Every day you go to the same classes, where you run into the same classmates, teachers and friends.

You can say that the school is your second home because it would be the second place where you spend more time and are people who you appreciate. Some do not see it that way, and we do not appreciate the opportunity we have from time to time. Did you know that in some countries only 50 percent of people finish primary education? That’s a large number of people, but the number of people going to the high school or university is even lower.

If you listen to your parents saying that you make an effort to have good grades so that you go to college, it’s not to bother you, maybe it’s because they could not go. the teachers are also there to help you, but have you ever wondered what your story is? How did they become teachers?

Maybe some of you know history teacher Ron Browning. He is a sympathetic teacher who is dedicated to teaching in the best way possible so that his students understand the classes.

If you know this teacher, you will know that he was not always a history teacher, but do you know how he ended up in a classroom or how did it all begin?

If you do not know, then this is his story: “I grew up in Kokomo, Indiana. I grew up in a very poor part of town, so few people from that area went to college. I had the grades, though, so I could go. Going to college changed my life. It let me see the world from different perspectives and afforded me opportunities I never would have had otherwise. I was the first person ever in my family to go to college.

“When I graduated from Kokomo High School in 1988, it was very bitter-sweet. I was proud to get my diploma, but it meant I was leaving for college. I had no desire to go to college. No one I knew was going to college and no one I ever knew had ever been to college.”

He  graduated from Ball State University in 1993 with a double major in journalism and history. He worked as a journalist for almost 20 years at newspapers around central Indiana as a reporter, photographer and editor. Most of his career was spent covering police, fire and courts. Sometimes he got calls in the middle of the night to go cover fires and crimes.

But not everything was easy.

“My last newspaper, the Noblesville Daily Times, closed in 2008,” Browning said. “I knew I needed to find a new career, because papers are closing and laying off journalists at alarming rates, and I had a family to raise. I wanted a career where I could continue to make a difference in the world.

“I decided to go back and get my teaching license and become a history teacher. I went through the state’s Transition to Teaching program, which takes people from other professions and helps them to obtain their teaching license and teaches them to be teachers. While I was going through the Transition to Teaching program I continued to write for local newspapers as a stringer (independent contractor). I started teaching at Ben Davis in 2010. It is the best decision I ever made. I love teaching. As a social studies teacher, I feel like I’m making a difference in my students’ lives and teaching our scholars how to be better citizens. The skills I used as a journalist help me as a teacher. I can comfortably relate to people from all types of backgrounds. Communication is key in journalism and in teaching. Journalists have to take complex topics and explain them in a way that their readers can understand them. Teachers also have to take complex topics and explain them in ways that our students can understand them.”


Meet Mr. Browning

Favorite movie: Rocky

Favorite sport/team: Indiana Pacers

Favorite food: Steak

What do you like to do in the weekends? I love watching my kids play sports. They’re both very active. I also love to play music. It relaxes me.

Your favorite animal: Humans

What activity have you never done, would you like to do? I want to busk on a street corner. Just my guitar and my harmonica.

What were your favorite classes / activities in high school? I loved history class and science classes.