Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is Kim Shipley. I'm at Lincoln Elementary School. I'm a third grade teacher currently and our school's located in a small town called Exeter, California. I have been in this school district for about 20 years."
Why did you start a career in education?
"Um, I first started in teaching, um, because I'd love to help kids. Um, I loved school growing up. I always was playing school at home and, um, it just seemed like it was my calling."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"Um, if I could have any other job, uh, it would be an airline store. This is probably one of the things that pops to my mind because that's something else I always wanted to be and something that I pursued when I was in college, actually got hired by a major airline and then just rethought, um, what my calling really was and, and decided to do teaching first. And then if I didn't like it, I would go into, um, being an airline pilot, uh, stewardess."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"How are kids different now than 30 years ago? Uh, just talking to one of my teacher friends yesterday. And the biggest difference is, um, the respect. Uh, there's just not a lot of respect for the teachers anymore. And so, um, behaviors are more common in, in the classroom out just along the school yard. Um, because of the respect level, you can ask a child to do something, they'll kind of look at you like make me or what are you going to do about it or I know you're not going to chase me down if, if I decide to do it anyway. And um, more and more students are like that. Um, sadly more and more students are like that and it's very few and far between. To have kids that are, um, you're highly respected, um, kids that, you know, just show that they've got, um, a level of respect, um, inbred in them."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"Um, teaching is very different. Teaching is highly, highly focused on academics. Um, it's a very intense academic world compared to, um, when I first started teaching, um, not that we didn't have academics and we expected high things from kids, but there was time to also, um, reach the all parts of the kid, the artistic part of the kid, the, you know, musical part of the kid, the fun part of the kid. Um, even things like handwriting and cutting and gluing, um, have become things that we isn't even really explored at school because the academics of reading and math and writing, um, are just the intense focus."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"Um, I tell teachers I'm, I'm a master teacher, so I have student teachers, um, come teach under me all the time and I always tell them to make sure that they get a lot, a lot of experience in the classroom, um, before they step out and do this full time. And then once do step out full time to make sure they, um, find somebody on their site who is willing to really be, um, a mentor for them. Not just somebody that's been assigned by the school or assigned by their college, but find someone who they see is a very effective teacher, um, who they see kids, um, like, um, not necessarily as, um, their best buddy. Um, my students like me, but they know I'm really stern and really firm and I have high expectations of them, but that's one of the things that they gravitate towards is because I am that firm consistent. Um, so to find a teacher like that that can support them and help them, um, not feel like they're drowning in our, um, in our teaching world nowadays because the academic, um, the academic pile of getting lesson plans together and keeping the class flowing, um, doesn't leave a lot of time for discipline issues or anything like that, um, as well. So, um, making sure they're, they're finding a good mentor."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"One thing I would change to help kids learn better, that's hard, um, because you just really have to know the individual kids. I guess one of the biggest things is getting the support when you need the support. So when I have a kid who I feel has, um, some dyslexia or, or some kind of visual print, um, and I ask for, you know, can I get this or can I get this support for this student? Um, not to have to sit there and fight and fight and fight and fight. And most of the time, um, when you're asking for support for any kind of special thing, um, there isn't support out there for them unless they're really special ed. And then, um, there, then it even still takes a huge process. Um, the red tape is just incredible to get kids help. And so, um, to help kids learn better is just to get the support, um, that they need and get when the teacher says, I need this for this kid, um, have somebody who can find the support or help them with the support. And I think that's question seven. So I'm done here bye."