Can you tell us about yourself?
Hi, my name is Lori Bennett. I'm a second grade GT teacher at Dunbar primary in Lufkin, Texas. I've taught at Dunbar for eight years.
Why did you start a career in education?
I chose teaching as my profession basically to help kids out and to have a little bitty piece of their future. Being a primary teacher, you are the foundation for all of their future endeavors in school. And just to have a little bitty piece of that is so rewarding.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
If I was able to choose any other profession, um, this is going to sound crazy, but I would choose to just be a stay at home mom. That is probably, um, the most rewarding job that a mom will ever have. And so to be able to stay home with my two kids would be, um, the most rewarding and, um, the most beneficial job in our lives.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
This is my 19th year teaching. And the question is how are the kids different from 30 years ago? So that would be when I was in school. Um, I will say, um, that the kids nowadays are more needy. They are more needy, but in the same sense, they're more inquisitive than we were. Um, you know, they have every aspect of, um, research and knowledge at the tip of their fingers. Literally they can just look it up. And so kids nowadays are way more inquisitive and knowledgeable of how to research. Um, I'm amazed by how my two personal kids, um, one's in middle school, one's in high school, how they are able to research and to, to make things, um, in technology, um, Le you know, based situations, I would have never been able to do that. First of all, there were computers when I was in school that were really big and now they're, um, really small. But they're also more dependent, not independent. They really need people to help them, but at the same time, they're way more in tune with their feelings than we ever were when I was their age, their age.
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
I can't vouch for 30 years ago and how different teaching is from then, but I can have Knight for 19 years. And wow. Technology is number one. I remember, um, when we would, um, use an overhead projector with Risa visa markers, you'd have to spray it and it stuck in your room. Now we just do smartboard or well, I teach hybrids. So I'm teaching kids today and this week because of COVID, I'm teaching at home and I'm teaching all of my kids. Some of them are at home, some of them are at school. Um, so definitely technology is different from then. And now another thing is parent involvement. As we have gone through the years, um, more moms are working outside of the home than they were when I was younger. And when I was in school, which would be 30 years ago. And so parent involvement is not as much as it used to be. Parents, it's not that they don't care. It's just, they're busy, including the moms, the moms are not staying home as much as they were 30 years ago
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
being a teacher is, um, probably one of the hardest jobs, but most rewarding jobs, also, other than being a mom. And if you really think about it being a teacher is being a mom to your kids at school. So, um, you know, over the years I've had hundreds of kids and they're still my kids. Um, so I would say do it.The money is not there. So if you're going into teaching thinking, you're going to get rich, um, try another profession, cause that's not going to happen, but, um, you will be blessed beyond measure. However, it is very hard and it's very stressful and you will grow gray hairs like I have here and lots of wrinkles also, um, and some poundage because it will add stress in your life, but it is definitely, um, rewarding and worth every gray hair and every wrinkle
What would you change to help kids learn better?
Parent involvement has or is lacking as, as much as it was 30 years ago. It's definitely one of the things that I would change about education and, and I think I would change it. And I, um, because if you have parent involvement at home and your parents are, um, just willing to help you and support you in every single way that you could possibly do your, your kiddos, your school kiddos are going to have a much more solid and, um, strong foundation than they would without them. So I would definitely change the parent involvement situation more than anything else.