Teacher Interview Project Kassandra McAninch Ivy Tech Community College
Stephanie Sherman • “I decided to become a teacher because of all the teachers that I had throughout my education that truly helped me become a successful learner. I want to be an inspiration to my own students and help them to find success in their education.” • Officially been teaching for 1.5 years but considers herself a teacher for about 5 years, between teaching internships, guest teaching, and student teaching. • Taught mainly pre-k and kindergarten, but also helped students at all elementary grades.
Donna Wallace • Decided to enter teaching because she really liked working with kids and teaching them. She also always liked to learn. • She has been teaching for 32 years. • Taught 5th and 6th grade but substituted for kindergarten to 8th grade. Taught math for 20 years and English, literature, and special sciences.
What are the traits of an effective teacher? Donna Wallace “An effective teacher has several important traits. Patience, understanding, and a true dedication to the education of children are essential. Also, the ability to give students a sense of structure, while also making them feel comfortable within a classroom.” Sense of humor Enjoy teaching and learning Classroom management Discipline “These traits develop over time with experiences in the classroom.” Stephanie Sherman
What is the single most important quality a good teacher possesses? Donna Wallace “Dedication to students is one of the most important trait a teacher can possess.” Fairness. Stephanie Sherman
What are your values, beliefs or philosophy about the teaching profession? Donna Wallace “My philosophy of education includes several components. First, I believe in hands-on learning experiences as opposed to endless worksheets or drilling facts. Also, creating an environment that makes children feel safe, comfortable, and important.” Over the years there has been no predominant philosophy. Try to convey as much knowledge. Learn to enjoy kids and your job. If you don’t you wont be a good teacher. Stephanie Sherman
How is your classroom arranged to optimize learning? Donna Wallace “My pre-k classroom consisted mostly of learning centers that differed every day. The centers consisted of centers that focused on specific skills like math and language arts. Other centers allowed students to use creativity such as arts and dramatic play.” The way desks were arranged either in clusters or a “horse shoe in a horse shoe.” Never put more than 4 kids in a group. You’ll lose management of them. Stephanie Sherman
What are you strategies for effective classroom management? Donna Wallace “My Management skills consisted mostly of explaining my expectations and praising students for positive behaviors.” Humor Fairness, some kids may not think you are being fair in the classroom and may act up because of it. Stephanie Sherman
What type of lesson plans do you create and how do you incorporate state standard in the curriculum? Donna Wallace “The lesson plans I made were focused around the learning centers mostly. I incorporated standards into every center. For example, one of the standards involved adding numbers to ten, so the center would be using sorters to add numbers to ten.” When she writes her lesson plans the standards are present so they would be incorporated. Stephanie Sherman
For you, what are the most exciting aspects of teaching and your work? Donna Wallace “The most exciting part about being a teacher is seeing the children begin to understand something they didn’t understand before.” Everyday being different, not knowing what the day going to have in store. Interaction with the children. Special projects with the children and lecturing all the time. Stephanie Sherman
Who has given you the most support in learning to be and effective teacher? Donna Wallace “I have felt nothing but support from all members of my family and my friends. My husband had helped me the most because he has always been there to support me through my job searches and the tough days.” 4Th, 5Th and 7TH social studies teachers. “I could go to them with questions or just having a difficult time and they would take the time to talk to me.” Stephanie Sherman
What do you think are the most difficult challenges for teachers? Donna Wallace “One of the most difficult challenges for teachers is being able to give each child the attention and resources they need to be successful.” Discipline Politics of the administration. Stephanie Sherman
How do you know you are successful? Donna Wallace “I know I’m successful mostly through observation of my students. The joy on their faces when they are able to understand is more than enough to make me feel successful.” Student come back and thank her for helping and supporting them. “When kids come back it’s the most rewarding thing.” Stephanie Sherman
What advice would you give to a future teacher? Donna Wallace “There will be times when you question yourself because something didn’t go the way you hoped. You are constantly learning how to reach children on their level and you can’t let it get to you when things don’t go as planned.” “Be sure to have patients and know that’s what you want to do.” Know the school you are going to teach in beforehand. Stephanie Sherman
Qualities that I posses. • Patience • Understanding of the ways students bring their outside worlds into the classroom. • Sense of humor • Making children feel comfortable. • Ability to listen to others. There are many qualities that I posses and many more that I will learn with experiences within the classroom.
With interviewing these teachers they have told some negatives about the teaching profession but both have told many more positive stories. Not only these teachers, but many others say it’s the most rewarding thing they have done.