Need Interviewee

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Sardakaur, May 20, 2012.

  1. Sardakaur

    Sardakaur Rookie

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    May 20, 2012

    I hope this is an appropriate request for this section!

    Anyway, I'm working on my teachers cert and I need to interview a secondary education teacher for part of a project. I've had numerous teachers I know in real life (even family members!) have said yes to the interview and have successfully been dodging me ever since and now I really have to have this done.

    Would anyone be so kind as to let me interview you about your first year in teaching? I already have a list of questions compiled here because time is of the essence at this point.

    My questions to you wonderful people are as follows:



    What grades did you teach your first year? Can you describe your school? (description, demographics)

    What subjects did you teach?

    How old were you when you started teaching?

    What subject was your degree in? Did you have any preparation for teaching? Where you well prepared?

    Did you have a mentor? What was that relationship like?

    Problems?

    What did you expect going in?

    How did your expectations change?

    Did your views change after your first year?

    What was your budget? How did you use it?

    What were your major challenges and how did you address them?

    What were your interactions with parents and the administration like?

    What was your teaching philosophy?

    Did it change?

    How did you balance your time and energy?

    What was your favorite part?

    Are you still teaching? Why? How have things changed?

    How did/do you manage student behavior?

    Do you have any advice for new teachers?


    Thank you so much to anyone who takes a few minutes to answer these questions!
     
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  3. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    May 21, 2012

    Ahhh. I remember having to do this last year before my student teaching. :) IF I was a first year teacher--I'd gladly help you, but I'm only subbing for now. Good luck!
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 21, 2012

    I've been teaching 26 years (all in Catholic schools) so I'm not sure I would be your best candidate; that first year was a long time ago!

    Time is kind of limited this early in the morning. But if you don't have your answers this afternoon, I'll be happy to respond.
     
  5. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    May 21, 2012

    PM me, and I'll be glad to do it!
     
  6. Sardakaur

    Sardakaur Rookie

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    May 21, 2012

    Thanks! I PM'd you but it's not showing up in my sent messages so hopefully you will have it!
    :)
     
  7. Sardakaur

    Sardakaur Rookie

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    May 21, 2012

    Still looking if anyone is interested!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 21, 2012

    You're welcome.
     
  9. Sardakaur

    Sardakaur Rookie

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    May 21, 2012

    Thank you, I love you! :hugs:
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 21, 2012

    What grades did you teach your first year? Can you describe your school? (description, demographics)
    I taught in a small, rural district in a high-poverty area. I taught grades 12, 11, 9, and 7.

    What subjects did you teach?
    I taught grade 12 honors British literature, grade 11 American literature, freshman English, and 7th grade reading.

    How old were you when you started teaching?
    22

    What subject was your degree in? Did you have any preparation for teaching? Where you well prepared?
    At that time, I had a BA in English with teaching certification for grades 9-12, which extends to grades 7-8 in departmentalized schools. I had done one semester of student teaching in high school. Nothing quite prepares you for your first time with your own classroom, even when you've done student teaching.

    Did you have a mentor? What was that relationship like?
    Kentucky requires a one-year internship. I worked with another English teacher in my building. She was fine. She answered questions and helped me along without being overbearing.

    Problems?
    I didn't really have any issues.

    What did you expect going in?
    I didn't know what to expect. My only experience in high school was as a student and as a student teacher. I knew no other teachers personally.

    How did your expectations change?
    I learned that knowing my material and being able to make lessons to teach it is a really small part of my job.

    Did your views change after your first year?
    They really didn't. I switched from high school to middle school after two years, and it was an adjustment to get used to a different school climate.

    What was your budget? How did you use it?
    I didn't have one. I didn't have my own classroom until I'd been teaching five years. I didn't need anything.

    What were your major challenges and how did you address them?
    My biggest challenge was teaching four completely different classes at two different schools while completing my state-mandated internship program and going to grad school one night a week to work on my masters. I didn't have a classroom, and that was before online classes. I had to go to campus for my grad classes.

    What were your interactions with parents and the administration like?
    I had a good relationship with my administrators. I saw very few parents. There was no email, so it was phone calls or in person. Other than parent conference night, I never saw anybody. At conferences I saw the parents of the good kids.

    What was your teaching philosophy?
    I don't really think I had one.

    Did it change?
    I just finished year 19, and I have changed my philosophy several times.

    How did you balance your time and energy?
    I was young, and I had endless energy. Now it makes me tired to think about how busy I used to be! You learn to as you go. It can overtake your life if you let it. You have to know when to back off.

    What was your favorite part?
    I enjoy working with older students, and I love my subject.

    Are you still teaching? Why? How have things changed?
    Yes, I just finished year 19. It's the career I chose, so I'm going to make the best of it. It's not perfect, but it's a job . . . not my life. A lot has changed. The curriculum, the materials, the testing, the expectations of parents and the community and the students and the administrators.

    How did/do you manage student behavior?
    It varies. I focus on teaching expectations, so I don't have to deal with misbehavior all that often.

    Do you have any advice for new teachers?
    It's not easy. Take some time for yourself. Enjoy the good parts and don't dwell on the negatives.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 21, 2012

    Ah, I'm blushing.
     
  12. Sardakaur

    Sardakaur Rookie

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    May 21, 2012

    Thanks Ima, you are awesome too!

    I think that is all I need from everybody, thank you again so much for answering!
     
  13. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    May 21, 2012

    What grades did you teach your first year? Eighth grade Can you describe your school? (description, demographics)Rural, considered lower socio-economic, but kids come from extremely poor all the way to millionaire backgrounds.

    What subjects did you teach? Language arts

    How old were you when you started teaching? 50! Second career.

    What subject was your degree in? Did you have any preparation for teaching? Where you well prepared? BS in Behavioral Sciences/Psychology Option. Went through post-graduate degree program for teaching certification. Was more prepared than most younger folks because I had wisdom, parenting, and other experiences under my belt. Don't think anyone is really prepared to teach right out of school. I spend a year doing long-term sub assignments and that prepared me more than my training.


    Did you have a mentor? What was that relationship like? Yes, I had a mentor, but we did not develop much of a relationship until I'd been teaching a couple of years.

    Problems? Taking student behavior personally. I find it difficult even now to separate their attitude from my feelings.

    What did you expect going in? That it would be a challenging and rewarding experience.

    How did your expectations change? They haven't for the most part. It is challenging and rewarding, though I am discouraged to find so many students who are just not motivated to learn or whose backgrounds and life situations are just not supportive of succeeding in education and in some cases in life as well

    Did your views change after your first year? To some degree. I still find it challenging, think it is the hardest I've ever worked for the least salary ever at a job I really enjoy. I have to remind myself that the rewards are not always going to be visible or large. I have to look a little deeper at times to identify what the rewards are because they are not always visible at first glance.

    What was your budget? Budget? I was given $100 by the school my first year. I didn't realize I had to spend it all at once, so I lost part of it. How did you use it? Most of it was used for chalk, paper, glue, scissors and some basic desk supplies. I used probably $200 of my own money for basic (Dollar Tree) borders/letters for bulletin boards, sales at Staples for crayons/craft boxes for groups of desks, crates for folders, etc. the first year.

    What were your major challenges and how did you address them? Learning not to take student decisions to be rude, defiant, etc. personally, to pick my battles, to forgive myself for not being perfect, to not be a perfectionist. Most of this was learned through reflection, reflection, reflection, and lots of reading and talking to other teachers in person or via sites such as this one.

    What were your interactions with parents and the administration like? This may sound dumb, especially considering that I teach in the same school my kids went through and many of the teachers who are now my peers taught my kids, but I was petrified of parents. Once again, I had to learn to separate their issues from my reactions to them. I had to learn not to take things personally. It is like studying to be a doctor. I had to learn to be compassionate but not to lose myself in the parents' and students' issues. Administration was not an issue - if you consider a deferential attitude to authority not to be an issue. Catholic school and strict upbringing has left me with a strong deference to authority with which I still struggle.

    What was your teaching philosophy? That all students are worthy of respect and that all students can learn.

    Did it change? No.

    How did you balance your time and energy? Another thing with which I struggle. I tend to give 110% to everything I do, and I also hyper-focus (ADD? ) Anyway, I don't balance it well. Each year I try to work more efficiently and to take less home.

    What was your favorite part? Seeing the "light bulb" come on" and also some of the discussions my classes get into. It is amazing watching these young teens developing a social conscience and awareness of the world around them!

    Are you still teaching? Why? How have things changed? Yes, I am still teaching. I still enjoy the challenge of leading these students to new levels of understanding, thinking, questioning. I love the fact that no day is the same as another and that each class is different even though the plan is the same. I love learning new things, and I do learn something new every day be it about music, nature, culture, sports - whatever the kids bring to school. I feel that each year the kids have become more entitled, less willing to do more than the basic demands, and have less respect for authority, education, and society as a whole. I also think that the stresses these kids are under due to the economy, changing moral standards (are there any?), absolutely convoluted family relationships due to divorce, re-marriage, jailed parents due to drugs. You name it. I also see more and more kids who are involved with family court due to their own poor decision making.

    How did/do you manage student behavior? Better over time. I wanted to be able to handle it all on my own. I didn't like the idea of having to send kids to the office for time out or for administrative referral. I did not interact with parents too much at first. I've found that by calling parents in the beginning of the year just to touch base and to say something good or positive about their child helps if/when I have to call for a more serious issue. I learned not to take student behavior personally. I lay out my expectations/consequences very clearly at the beginning of the year and repeat it throughout the year. If a child chooses not to do what is expected, I have to remind myself that is their choice and they are the ones who have to deal with the consequences. I have gotten better at "reading" a student and his behavior and acting proactively instead of being reactive.

    Do you have any advice for new teachers? Be flexible, form relationships with parents early on, sit back and listen both to students and other staff members, don't buy into the negativity, find your own style - it may take a little while, don't be afraid to admit a mistake - the kids will respect you more for that, don't go out spending a ton of money the first year - it is amazing what other teachers leave behind or hand down, don't hesitate to ask another teacher for help - teachers are the most generous and sharing group of people I've ever worked with, relax and enjoy. Teachers are learning just as much as students are, every day, every year!
     

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