Answers to your questions
08-27-2011, 08:33 PM
(1) Why did you choose to go into education as a career? I chose education as a career because when I was younger, I worked as a day camp counselor, starting at age 14. I loved working with kids of all ages, and had lots of chances through the years to work in the day camp.
(2) Would you recommend the education profession to others? Why or why not? It is a wonderful profession, but I wouldn't recommend it in these times. It is very difficult to land a job, the political climate doesn't favor educators, and the test-driven mentality makes the job very stressful.
(3) Are there any other teachers in your family? If so, who? My uncle is a college professor, and my cousin is a speech therapist. I also had a cousin who passed away who was a pre-school educator.
(4) What is your highest level of education? I have a Master's degree plus 45 additional hours.
(5) How long have you been an educator? I started in September 1976, so I am starting my 35th year.
(6) What is your greatest challenge as an educator? It is dealing with parents and students who do not show respect and question everything. Because everyone has been to school, they often think that they have the expertise to do your job, sometimes resulting in less than professional treatment.
(7) How do you balance the demands of your profession with the political realities of the education system? I love working with the kids, so I focus on them while involving myself in my union activities and professional organizations and reading to better the profession.
(8) Do you live in the community that you work in? If yes, do you believe that it is important for educators to live in the community in which they work? Why or why not? I did when I first started teaching in another district, but now live in a neighboring town for my present job. I think where the teacher lives should be an individual choice. When I lived in the community, it was a small rural one, and people actually told me when they sighted my car! The advantages of living in the community was that you understood the issues of the community and the students' backgrounds, but you could do that from a neighboring town if you educate yourself.
(9) Who was your greatest educational influence? I had wonderful teachers myself, most notably my first grade, fourth grade, sixth grade and my middle school social studies and English teacher. I was also influenced by Dr. Dorothy Watson and Dr. Jerry Harste, two professors of education who inspired me by their knowledge and passion for literacy and their willingness to share it.
(10) What is the greatest benefit of being an educator? Knowing that your influence has left a mark on so many lives. Recently, I joined Facebook and re-connected with many of my former students, who are now grown themselves. Their memories that they shared of having me were very special, as hopefully are mine of them.