Can you tell us about yourself?
Hello, I'm CJ Flay. I teach at Lakeshore Middle School in Iredell County in North Carolina. I'm a middle school, computer teacher. I have only been at this school for one year, but I've been in Iredell County teaching middle school computers. Now for 18 years, I have a career in teaching or in education.
Why did you start a career in education?
After I left sales after 20 years I just wanted to do something different. I felt like I was giving back to my students and community by able to teach them some of the life experiences I had while in sales. I became a teacher because I wanted to be on the same schedule as my own three sons. My wife's also a teacher, so it was getting us all on the same schedule, but I just felt it was a really rewarding profession or something that I was led to.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
If I could have any other job, I had that choice, uh, 19, 20 years ago, and I chose to be a teacher. I still get up in the morning. I'm happy to go to the school and feed off the energy of my students. And I really love doing what I do.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
How are kids different now than they were 30 years ago? I believe the kids are more tech-savvy, but kids are still kids. I'm always surprised at what they know and what they don't know, but they're full of energy and enthusiasm. And that's the part that I enjoy about being a teacher.
How is Teaching different now than it was 30 years ago?
How is teaching different than it was 30 years ago? There are more rules and admin, and they've actually taken a lot of the creativity out of teaching. Unfortunately, it's a lot more canned curriculum than it used to be. I, uh, used to grumble about writing lesson plans. Now I grumbled because I don't get to write lesson plans. Um, a lot of stuff we have is all pre-packaged curriculum and I'm not quite as excited about that as, uh, when I used to go and make my own lessons.
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
What would you tell someone now that is thinking about becoming a teacher? Get in it because you want to be in it. You're not going to get rich. There's a lot of days that, um, things happen above and beyond your control. Some days you feel like you're the scapegoat, but remember the real reason that you're in it, you're in it for the children. And, uh, I would tell someone getting into teaching if you don't like being with children and you don't like working with children, don't become a teacher. You gotta love, you gotta love kids to become a teacher.
What would you change to help kids learn better?
What is one thing I would help change to help kids learn better? They're home. Like my students who learn best are the ones that have the support of their parents and the parents can not just dump the students off in school and expect them to learn everything. It should be a partnership between the students, the parents and their teachers. I feel a parent's doing the child's service if they don't get to meet the student's parents and don't know what the teachers are expected. The parents saw that the parents should really know the teachers, ask questions to the students and work closely with the teachers to make sure that the students are doing what they're supposed to.