Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is Kristine Conover and I teach English language arts at Nowlin middle school in Independence, Missouri. And this is my first year teaching at this particular school. I have taught Spanish to middle school students in the past. Um, so this is a new subject for me teaching as well."
Why did you start a career in education?
"So why did I choose education? Um, for my career? Well, I chose education because I love learning and I love working with teenagers and also my family was a big influence. Um, my grandmother was, in education for over 30 years. My aunt was also a school librarians and my uncle was a, um, industrial arts teachers. So my family influenced me a lot and that's why I became a teacher."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could,have any other job, what, what would it be? Well, if I could be anything else, I would love to be a travel journalist so I could travel the world and write about all the different places that I visit and all the things that I see."
How are kids and teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"How are the kids different now than 30 years ago? Well, the kids are different now because of the technology industry. Everything from cell phones to computers. Um, the internet, it totally influences everything that the kids do these days. And also the way that we teach."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"What would I tell someone that was thinking of becoming a teacher? Um, I would tell them that teaching is not an easy job. It's not as easy as you think it is, but it's one of the most rewarding careers. Um, knowing that you're making a difference in a child's life, not just educating them but just making a difference. Being there for them in a way that they need someone in their lives, to be a role model for.
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"The one thing that I would change is to have smaller class sizes so that the kids, um, could have more individual one on one help from the teachers. I feel like class sizes have increased over the years due to the, um, just the lack of teachers and also just the industry itself. So definitely may have those smaller class sizes. Um, all of my class sizes are around 20 to 25 kids, but even if it was 15, I could spend even more time with each one of the kids and give them that individual instruction and help that they need to succeed."