Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Teacher Interview

fairandfirmHere are some questions from Ms. Understood over at Teacher, I Don't Get It for teachers to answer. I thought you might be interested in my answers.

Background information: I taught special education in public school for 30 years before retiring and now teaching teachers getting a master’s degree in special education at the university level.

How was actually teaching different than what you expected it to be when you went into teaching?

I thought I would change the world. Everything seemed so black and white in my mind. I had big ideas and wasn’t going to implement them immediately but then reality struck. I realized that change was going to take time and progress would be slow. There also were a lot of gray areas and nothing was just black and white.

What do people not know about schools or teaching that you wish they did?

I wish that people would realize how much they demean teachers in their words and actions. I’m not sure they even realize it sometimes. I remember growing up and knew that if I got in trouble at school, I would be in trouble at home. If my parents did not agree with the teachers, they never showed this in front of me. Parents need to work together with teachers to help their children succeed. This should not be a fight of “us” against “them” and together, their child could go further than they imagined. When the parents say terrible things about education, teachers, and schools in front of their children, their children lose respect for their teachers and do not learn all that they could. Parents and teachers need to learn to trust each other.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing educators today?

Paperwork and bureaucracy. Those are the biggest problems. When the educational system got more and more political, it stopped being about what is in the best interest of the students. The more political, the more paperwork. Teachers don’t seem to have enough time or energy to give to teaching like they did when I first started. The students are the ones who are losing out.

What is the best thing about teaching?

The best thing about teaching is when students suddenly understand what you are teaching and are able to do it on their own.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I hope to still be teaching teachers at the university how to be more effective in the classroom. I hope to be in schools working with teachers by teaching them how to use new tools that they don’t have time to look for and learn. I would like to travel to other countries and help teachers there too.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'teaching with emotion: a halloween story' by: woodley wonderworks

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