Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hello. My name is Lauren Gullotti. I am a fifth grade teacher at Vejar elementary school, which is in the city of Walnut and that's part of Los Angeles. So I am like I said, a fifth grade teacher and I am in my second year of teaching, so it's still pretty new."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I started a career in education because of the amazing teachers that I had growing up and they really had a huge impact on me. And so it inspired me to become a teacher. And my mom, dad and sister are also in education. So I had good examples for, um, the impact that teachers can have."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could have any other job, I would probably be a librarian or um, librarian slash media specialist. I'm really into technology, but I also really love reading. So that's kinda my alter ego if I were to have one."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"How are kids different now than 30 years ago? I think with technology it's made it really challenging for students to stay focused and to be engaged because they're so used to the instant gratification that comes along with playing video games. With having iPhones and social media. So I feel like that's a huge challenge that teachers are facing or is how to keep students engaged and how to have that face to face interaction and have them be able to communicate with one another."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"How is teaching different? It's much more hands on. I don't even give worksheets out anymore. It's very much conversations that you have discussions and I feel like it's much more engaging for students and so I really liked that students have free choice in their education now they're able to give their opinion, they're able to choose how they want to show their learning and I feel that with the more research that comes out, we're going to have even more changes made to the classroom, which I think will benefit students in the long run."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"If I were to tell someone that's thinking about becoming a teacher, I would say go try it out in the classroom first and see how you like it because it's so different when you are actually in the classroom and have your own 35 students. So I would say try it out and then also go in with an open mind because it really is the hardest job out there. And you have to be open and willing to change and be adaptive and build those relationships with students. That's the number one thing to do."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"And one thing I would change to help kids learn better. I, if I could, I would make it less curriculum based and more hands on in terms of, um, going out and doing projects in the community, doing hands on learning in the classroom, maybe interacting more with their environment so that it kind of extends outside of the classroom. And so that they're building those skills of collaboration, communication, and, um, having an outward reach on society. All right. Thank you so much. And thank you for the earphones."