Teacher Feature – Jake Brens

Posted: April 22, 2022


School: Sycamore Middle School
Grade: 8th grade
Subjects: English Language Arts
Number of years teaching: 18
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I have been the team leader for the 8th Grade Farm Field Trip for the past 8 years.
What is your favorite unit to teach? Nonfiction literacy/argument analysis. I love helping students learn to ask good questions and become critical consumers of information. The more active we are with how we engage with media, the more likely we will be to draw sound conclusions and make informed decisions.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? As we deepen our understanding of the impact of agriculture on all that we do, we better see our interconnectedness.
Words of advice for students: Every one of you has talent, and every one of you has purpose. Our goal should be to discover and pursue them with all our hearts.


Hometown: Raised in St. Charles, living in Sycamore
Family: Wife, Kelly, and two boys, Joah and Jackson
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a Master’s Degree in English Education from Northern Illinois University
What did you want to be when you grew up? Anything but a teacher! When I finally grew up – a teacher!


Quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hobbies: Reading, walking, playing games/puzzles with family, singing
Book: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
Music: Glen Hansard
Sports team: Cubs
Tv Show: Parks and Recreation
Travel destinations: Galena, IL and anywhere in the Smoky Mountains