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Can you tell us about yourself? 

"Good morning. This is my 7 Question submission for TFD Supplies. Um, my name is Shannon Payne. I teach at Achievable Dream Middle and High School where I teach high school sciences, including earth science, astronomy, anatomy and marine biology. Uh, the school is located in Newport News. I've been here for two years and I absolutely love it." 


Why did you start a career in education?

"Um, question two, why did you start your career in education? Uh, I wanted to, I was drawn to it. I'd wanted to teach for a long time. I spent 10 years as an accountant and I felt little bits of my soul being pulled away every day. And this was something that I was drawn to. Um, I was called to being a teacher." 


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

"If you could have any other job, what would it be and why? I don't want any other job. Um, this was my dream job. I guess if I were to not be teaching in the classroom, I would want to be teaching the teachers, uh, maybe, you know, developing curriculum and assisting other educators being the best that they could be. But I would never want to leave education if I could help it." 


How are kids different now than 30 years ago?

"Question four. How are kids different now than they were 30 years ago? Um, I was a kid 30 years ago. Well, a little more than 30 years ago, but we're not going to go to that. Uh, kids are a lot more driven. They're a lot more timely. Um, there's not as much relaxation as there used to be in the classroom 30 years ago. Uh, the internet has given us this sense of instant gratification and kids are kind of drawn to that. They need it. And so even with their instruction, if they don't understand it right away, they're going to get very frustrated because they have the world in their hands with their cell phones." 


How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?

"Um, how is teaching different now than 30 years ago? I remember sitting in a classroom with a overhead projector and thinking that was the coolest thing ever because what the teacher was writing on this giant light bulb was coming up on the screen. And now it's so different. Technology has advanced extremely far and that has both made it easier and more difficult in a lot of ways to be able to operate in the classroom. Um, teaching has had to show a different scope. Now it's not enough to just know science. You've got to know technology too because if you don't know how to use it, you're never going to use it efficiently in the classroom." 


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

"What would you tell someone right now who is thinking about becoming a teacher? Do it, do it and never look back. Teaching is amazing. It's a chance to impact and mold a life that is so much more than yourself. It's a chance to be a mentor, to be a source of information other than Google. It is a chance to truly help mold the next generation and you will learn so much more than you ever thought possible through teaching. You know, I often joke that I have to study 10 times as hard now as when I was in college cause I have to keep up with what questions my students are going to ask. And it's true. It's absolutely true. It is the most rewarding thing you will do in your life other than becoming a parent, which really face it. You know, that's mostly teaching itself too. So if you want to be a teacher, do it and don't let anybody tell you that you can't because the joy that you will experience in the classroom is far greater than anything you will find anywhere else." 


What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?

"Seven, what is one thing you would change to help kids learn better? Get rid of homework. They're not going to do it anyway. Make the classroom somewhere they want to be. Make it an interactive space. Make it a welcoming space. Make it something where they know exactly what is expected of them. It helps kids learn and provide them with the materials to operate in that space. If they need a pencil, give them a pencil. They need a piece of paper. Give them a piece of paper. Don't make their education a give and take of what, how well supplied they were because even in high school, they're still teenagers and my teenager can't even find his shoes half the time, much less. Make sure he has all of his supplies for class. Their brains don't operate that way. Find ways to make it different and provide what they need to learn. That's kind of the whole point of this. My students need headphones. Have a great day." 


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