Brown twins have students seeing double


Meghan Keough

April Brown (left) and Allison Brown (right) enjoy some time together during their planning period before they go back to class on Oct. 19.

While 18 new teachers joined the staff this fall, the main focus seems to be the addition of a twin. April Brown, who has been teaching anatomy and physiology for seven years and arrived at Western last year, was joined by her twin, Allison Brown, a transfer from Cypress Bay who now teaches Forensic science and biology here with her sister.      

After graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, both April and Allison attended Florida State University to study secondary education. They then decided to focus on teaching various subjects of science, such as biology and anatomy, shortly after.

“It’s like someone has got your back and is working with you,” Allison said.

“We bounce off each other,” April said.

“Like ‘you check the mailbox, I’ll make the copies,’” Allison said.

“Tag team,” April said.

Both Browns wish to make an impact on their students besides what they learn in the classroom. They want their students to go home and be able to use the skills they learned in class and apply them to their everyday life.

“Students will learn something useful that they can use on a daily basis. Like if they lose their phone or their charger or something. They don’t necessarily have to have a career in forensics to figure that out,” Allison said.

Natalie Roth, a student in April’s anatomy and physiology class, said Ms. Brown is very energetic. Roth said that she likes the way April teaches and enjoys her class because “it’s easier to learn” with the way she teaches. Her energy in class helps her students to remember the material that she is teaching. She said April will play Jeopardy with her students as a method of review. Roth said that this is a fun and helpful way to review.

Having identical twins on the staff is confusing for many but Roth said that she can tell them apart.

“Allison is usually more serious than April is. April acts out her [life] stories [in class] and is more lively than Allison is. Everything [else] is exactly the same,” Roth said.

To add to the confusion of having identical twin teachers on staff, Allison was assigned to the room April occupied last year. Students are now met with bewilderment when they venture to Allison’s new room with the intention of visiting April. In addition, when students walk into a classroom with both of the Browns  present at the same time, students often do a double take. The confusion builds when students are faced with determining which Brown twin is their teacher.

When sophomore Karina Carcamo first encountered both of the Brown twins in April Brown’s anatomy class, she recounts that the experience was mind boggling. “I went to say hi to Ms. [April] Brown and then both Allison and April responded. It felt like I was tripping.”

In addition to students, teachers and staff experience bewilderment with the addition of Allison. Environmental science teacher Jessica Brown is at the receiving end of emails, papers, and phone calls that are mixed up between April, Allison, and herself. Due to having the same last name as the Brown twins, Jessica is also in the middle of the befuddlement around the twin teachers. Jessica said the administration struggles the most with differentiating between messages addressed to “Ms. Brown.”

“I regularly get emails concerning students that aren’t mine. I get phone calls for April or Allison. Students always ask me if I have a sister or if I’m a twin,” Jessica said.

To help students and staff differentiate between April, Allison and herself, Jessica said that students, staff, and parents should pay attention to which teacher they intend to contact to avoid sending an email or making a phone call to the wrong teacher.

In the midst of all of the chaos, having the twins on staff has been great for everyone. “I really look forward to going to Ms. Brown’s class,”  Roth said. “April Brown is so happy and her class is so exciting. She always makes my day and I’m always excited to go to her class.”