Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is Katelyn Miller and I'm a fifth grade science teacher at Asa Low intermediate school in Mansfield, Texas. Uh, I've been teaching there for 11 years and this is my 12th year teaching."
Why did you start a career in education?
""Um, I started out in college as a classical voice major. I was going to be an opera singer. Um, and I had to take a physics class and it turned out I was really good at physics and I was also really good at helping other people in that class understand physics. And from there becoming a teacher became what I was going to do."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"Um, teaching or I guess students have changed from the last 30 years. Uh, 30 years ago I was a student, I was starting out in kindergarten and it was just a whole environment of everybody's excited to go to school, students want to go to school and everybody is just happy about what's happening. And um, there was no real technology tons of hands on. We're going to make things with colors and cut and glue and put them together. And today there's just so much more technology that I think some of that stuff kind of gets forgotten. So I like to try and put that back into my classroom."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could be anything other than a teacher, I would be either a classical voice singer, an opera singer, or I would be a cupcake Baker and I would have my own bakery."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"Um, let's see. Teachers, 30 years ago, teachers were the end all end all. If the teacher said the sky was purple, well then the sky was purple. We were going to believe her. You know, we, we believe that everything they were teaching us was exactly what it was supposed to be. And nowadays you have a lot of students who are questioning everything and questioning is good. Sometimes it's good, but sometimes they just need to understand that we are here to give them the best information that we can and that we need to learn together instead of just making sure, I know what you know and you know what I know, but let's become learners together."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"What would I tell someone who's thinking about becoming a teacher right now? I would say do it. Teaching can be super, super hard, but it is so rewarding. Even when you have a day full of 27 things that have just been hard and sad and not happen the way you expect them to be, you're going to have that one thing and that one thing that happens that's just fabulous. Great. It's worth the whole thing. It's worth everything."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"One thing I would change to help kids learn better is I would give them access to more technology. If we could use this technology and the right technology to help our students learn and to get information, that would be wonderful. But we have so many kids who don't have access. We have tons of kids now. We're doing our distance learning because of the covid 19 and so many of our kids don't even have a device. Um, a lot of them don't even have internet at home. So we've had to work hard to figure out a way to get kids devices because we are not a one to one district. So we're working hard and making sure that everybody has what they need so we can teach them as best as we can, but still nothing beats being right there face to face with our students."