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Can you tell us about yourself? 

My name is Jackie Phillips. I teach at Lake Shore High School. I am a geometry and data analysis teacher. Our school is located in St. Clair Shores, Michigan and I have been employed at lake shore, both at the middle school and the high school for 28 years.

Why did you start a career in education?

Now, I started a career in education, I think just because I was one of those people who loved school. And I wasn't really sure in college exactly what I wanted to do. So I ended up teaching and loving it.

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

I think if I have any other job, it would be as a historian, a curator at a museum of history because that's one of my favorite subjects besides math

How are kids different than they were 30 years ago?

I think the advent of phones, social media, and all those outside distractions have really changed how kids act and react and, um, pay attention in school and see learning as valuable.And I don't think it's been a good thing.


How is teaching different than it was 30 years ago?

It's different now because there's so many more things pulling us in so many directions, standardized testing, the fight between charter and public schools. Just kind of a greater and greater lack of emphasis on the need for a good public education. And I think it's a lot harder now to be a teacher than it was 30 years ago.

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

And I think I would tell someone right now, that thinking about becoming a teacher is making sure you love kids. You have an absolute passion for what you want to do, because if you don't the potential for this job to grind you down is huge. And I haven't been at that point yet, and I hope I never am, but I think more and more so for the pay and the job demands, you really, really have to have this be something you want to do and you want to stick with.


What would you change to help kids learn better?

And one thing I would change to help kids learn better. I wish we could just go back and not have cell phones or have a way that they would just never bring them to school. I think even the overemphasis on technology, I think we just need to take a step back and put the fun and the joy and the curiosity back in learning rather than smothering it with too many demands for testing data, data, data. I think we just need to see what the kids are interested in, what they're excited about and what they want to do.

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