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Can you tell us about yourself? 

Hi, my name is Deena Beck. I'm a seventh-grade life science teacher at Sherrard Junior High School in Sherrard, Illinois. I have been teaching for 13 years now. We are located in West-Central, Illinois, right in the middle of the Metro cornfields.

Why did you start a career in education?


Why did I start a career in education? Well, I was a non-traditional student. I went back to college at age 30. I had decided that working retail was no longer something that interests me. And when I looked at what I like to do as part of my job, it was helping to educate some of the other people that I worked with. And so I decided to go back into teaching. 


If you could have any other job what would it be and why?


If I could, if I could have any other job, what would it be? Well since this is the second career, third, fourth career for me, um, I, I think I'm pretty well set. If I could do things totally over, maybe a photojournalist would be a neat area to explore her career, but I'd probably still find myself back into teaching.

How are kids different now than 30 years ago?

How is it different now than 30 years ago? Well, 30 years ago, I would've penned this student, but they are much more tech-savvy, much more knowledgeable in certain things than what we were. Um, there's, um, maybe a little lack of empathy that I think is important to try to, uh, promote with the kids. Um, of course, junior highest, little bit challenged in that area anyway, traditionally,

How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?


We had computers 30 years ago. We had typewriters and wet, um, paper, liquidity too, to make our corrections. So things are definitely faster paced than they were back then. 


What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?

What would I tell someone now, right now that is thinking of me about becoming a teacher? I would suggest that, um, you get in as many classes as you can, as early in your career to advance. I don't think a bachelor's is enough anymore. It is to get you started, but as you start your teaching, continue with those, uh, professional development credits with those extended learning classes and, um, understand that the bachelor's and then your knowledge as a teacher, the content itself is just the beginning. There's more personal reaching the students than what a teacher realizes. I'm multitasking.What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better? What is one change to help kids learn better? Oh, I should've thought about these questions before I started recording. Well Being in the middle of COVID right now is really even a change to what I would have answered six or eight months ago. Think the personal connections are still super important for kids. I think they live behind their screens almost a little bit too much, and they don't think about how their words and conversations affect each other. Um, texting messaging, snap chatting. There's not that personal interaction, um, that helps the kids learn how to deal with social issues anymore in conversation. So to help teach them and learn better. I think we need to continue to use group work, partner work, um, communicating, um, more verbally still in this day and age, because I think that we've lost some of that in relying on our technology too much. Thank you. 

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