Can you tell us about yourself?
Hi there. My name is Katrina Buyers. I am a special education teacher at City Hill middle school in Naugatuck Connecticut. I have been a teacher for a while, since about 2008. And I have currently been at my school for five years.
Why did you start a career in education?
The reason I started a career in education is because I really enjoy working with children. Um, I love getting to know kids on a one-to-one basis and I really love hearing their perspective on things. And, um, as a special education teacher, I've had the opportunity to work with some really unique individuals. Um, and I find it eye opening and educational every time.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
If I could have another job, it would be to run my own summer camp. I love the outdoors and I love the summer. And, um, I feel like getting to work with kids in a more recreational atmosphere would be so much fun. If I could, I would run a summer camp that would teach a hundred percent life skills and would incorporate as much outdoor education and outdoor recreation as possible.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
I think kids 30 years ago I think they were different because they had a different level of respect for authority. I think that students didn't talk back to teachers the way they do now or blatantly disrespect adults. Um, not that all of them do, but so many seem so comfortable with disrespecting authority that I think that's the biggest difference for me.
How is Teaching different now than it was 30 years ago?
Now, as far as how teaching was different, 30 years ago, I was not a teacher 30 years ago. I was still a grade school student, but I think about how quickly teaching has changed during my own career and, um, how much technology we now incorporate in education is just in our faces all day. So that is huge. And as well, we are also incorporating lots of social, emotional learning. There's a huge focus on wellness both physically and mental. So I think that is a responsibility that our teachers from 30 years ago did not have.
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
As for a person who was looking into becoming a teacher today, I would tell them to make sure you have a plan for, um, a side job, a secondary income, because you're going to need it. With all the, you know, student loans that we are paying for our education, the, um, you know, the income doesn't necessarily start off, uh, at a high, high enough rate to afford you know, basic things.
What would you change to help kids learn better?
The last question was about what one thing that can be done to help students learn better. And I feel that, um, it's really right now about removing distractions in, you know, in our current, uh, pandemic, um, era with students living at home and students learning through computers. I feel like there's just so many distractions that are becoming a priority instead of their education. So for those parents who are helping their students learn from home, take away their video games and their social media during the day and make them go to bed at night at a reasonable hour. So they're rested and couldn't get up in the morning. There's so many other things that are, that are beneficial, that should be in your children's lives, like, um, getting outside and reading and, and school has just fallen to the back end, um, of the priority list. So those are, those are my opinions. I thank you guys for this opportunity to share them.