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7 Questions With Matthew Berry

December 01, 2021

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Can you tell us about yourself? 

Oh, my name is Matthew Berry, and I'm currently the director of the Ritner Husky Academy at The Ritner school district in St. Louis, Missouri. I have been a, this is my first year in this position, but for the past five years, I worked as the school counselor at retina middle school in the same district. 

Why did you start a career in education?

You know, why I started my career in education, you know, partly every job and every position I ever have had, has been working with students, working with kids. I initially did my undergraduate in recreation and leisure studies. And so I was doing a lot of work with students, um, through youth sports and also kind of social recreation. And so I saw a need there. I had worked in, um, one of the schools here in the renter school district about 15 years ago as a youth at risk case manager and, and saw the impactful work that school counselors can have every day. And so that was a big motivation for me to jump into education.



If I could have any other job, what would it be and why?

If I could have any other job than what I do right now in education, that would be probably to be a food critic. I love to eat and I love going and finding new places to eat and trying new things and definitely sharing that with other people. So I would definitely be a food critic if I could.

 

How are kids different than they were 30 years ago?

How are kids different now than 30 years ago? You know, I think that education has changed and, and not only education but just our society in general. There's a lot more access to information that students have compared to what we had 30 years ago. And so I think there's a lot more pressure and societal pressure that students face.



How is teaching different than it was 30 years ago?

You know, I think that education has changed and, and not only education but just our society in general. There's a lot more access to information that students have compared to what we had 30 years ago. And so I think there's a lot more pressure and societal pressure that students face. And so I think that we are having to really, you know, in teaching and now compared to 30 years ago, you know, really have a variety of opportunities and ways to reach students, um, um, that maybe we didn't in the past. And additionally, you know, teaching is so much more demanding. I feel as compared before, as far as the expectations that the districts and states I'm putting on, on teachers within their classrooms.

 

What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?

If you are thinking of going into education and becoming a teacher, I mean, this is a great profession. Yes Is it stressful? Yes, are there times when you go home exhausted and tired? Yes, that is true. But are there those times when things are very rewarding? Yes, that is true also, you know, and I couldn't think of anything more that I would want to do other than being a food critic. And then being in education. I really love the opportunity to work with students and to reach parents and, and to, and to just, you know, try to meet any needs that I can.

What would you change to help kids learn better?

That's possible. The one thing that, you know, I think I would change to help kids learn better is just how we can in education, just build more of a team approach, you know really wrapped students lives in wrap the families to collaborate and work together. And I think that, you know, what students do seven hours of the day here at school, doesn't compare what happens in those 17 hours outside of school, you know? And so I think any impact we can have as far as working together and collaborating with parents and families to meet the goals of students, I think is very important.

 


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