Can you tell us about yourself?
Hi, my name is Mary Catherine Huss. I go by Ms.Huss. I teach seventh-grade math at Holmes middle school in Eden, North Carolina. I've been a teacher there for 10 years. I'm so good at the subject that, that can't get out of it. So I'm still learning my math and teaching my math, and I love what I do and where I am.
Why did you start a career in education?
I've been in education for 10 years, because even in high school and college, I was somebody who could explain math and help my peers. And it just became something very natural to me to help explain and help people understand. And I wanted to go into a career where I could explain and help students, and I make it a big point to try to make math easy for, to understand for my students.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
And if I could have any other, any other job in the world, let's just dream big or go home.
Let's let's join NASA. Let's go explore space. Let's go do something really out there. I'm here at home. I live on a farm and we have, we raised our own vegetables and we raised trees and we have a dog and a cat, and everything's very homegrown. So if I had to dream big and say anything else, I would say, space exploration, just go out there.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
How are kids, how are kids different than they were 30 years ago? Well, 30 years ago I was a kid myself. So I was 19 years old and, and barely out of high school and just starting college and, and excited about life in general. And what would be most different between kids from then? And now I would say the internet and just access to all the information and everything out there. It's, it's a double-edged sword and it's difficult for our kids to navigate.
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
So teaching, how have things changed in 30 years? Well, when I was in school, we sat in rows and we had a textbook and it was, it was no big deal for the teacher to come in and say, read these pages and answer these questions. And we don't have that. Now. We don't have books in school. So now we have all these resources for teaching on the internet. And again, it's that double edged sword because we're trying to limit screen time. And at the same time, I don't have a textbook. I have to go use those wonderful resources on the web, so a lot of teaching now, instead of what am I trying to get my kids to learn? It's how am I going to get my kids to learn and make it really meaningful and impactful for those students.
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
If I were speaking to somebody about thinking about becoming a teacher and I have a daughter who's starting college, and she's going to be a music education, and she knows this, I've said it many times. It is the most challenging draining emotionally rollercoaster rewarding job and career choice that you can ever make. You will, you will impact more lives than you ever dreamed. You could impact, but there are days where you will come home and you just have nothing left and you just have to pay big boots on and go back the next day. And something's going to happen that next day. It's going to turn it all around and you're going to have another wonderful recharged.
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
Well, what would I change to make my teaching much easier? I would get out my Tinkerbell magic wand and I would end poverty. And there's, it is by far the most impactful thing our students have to face. Um, poverty means they're hungry. It means their basic needs aren't being met. It means they don't have the vocabulary. They haven't traveled. They haven't left our small town since birth. And when I get a seventh grader whose biggest road trip has ever been just to go to the beach, um, it breaks my heart. We have passports and we travel and we love it. And, and I just, I think that travel eliminates ignorance and it educates and poverty puts such a, such a stop to it, any of that maturing of brains. And it's just, it's a very tragic thing to watch. So if I could change anything, I would wave a magic wand and I would bring everybody up from poverty. I would make it a level playing field. Everyone would come to school with a full belly and a full heart and having had a good night's sleep and not worried about what's going to happen when they get home at the end of the day. Thank you.