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Can you tell us about yourself? 

Hi, my name is Shelby Jones, and I teach first grade at Kurth Primary School in Lufkin, Texas. And this is my first year here and actually my very first year teaching too.


Why did you start a career in education?

I started a career in education because I just love kids. My whole life. I've loved kids, I've babysat and worked in BBS and other things for a really long time, just because I don't know, kids are the best. They're just honest  to themselves and they're my favorite people to be around. So I just wanted to help them make sure that they knew someone loved them and cared for them.


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

If any other job right now, I really don't want any other job because I really do love teaching. But if I had another one, I would probably be a counselor because that was another job I was considering as a counselor for children, probably just cause I want to be able to help kids that have special circumstances and just need someone to really be there for them. 


How are kids different now than 30 years ago?

How are kids different now than 30 years ago? Honestly, I'm not really sure if I can answer this one because I'm only 23, so I haven't even been around for 30 years, but if I had to say something I guess maybe in terms of like technology kids, these days are a lot more tech-savvy, so that's one way they're different.

How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?

How is teaching different from 30 years ago? Kind of the same thing. I'm not really sure, but I would say in more recent years, teaching is probably moved to being more student-centered. So meaning that the students can really take control of their learning and make choices. So it's better suited for them instead of just like the teacher talking and the students listening to students are now encouraged to participate more in their learning, more collaboratively with their peers. So that's really great.


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

I tell someone right now that I am thinking about becoming a teacher. I would say, you know, it's really hard, a lot harder than I imagined it would be, but it really is worth it. Just getting to be with the kids every day and knowing that they know that you love them and that you care for them. And you know, when you can see them grow and you can see that they get something, it just, it makes everything worth it. You just, you've got to stay focused on that. And just remember why you're here because there's a lot of components of teaching that are really hard and exhausting, but it really is worth it just to be with the kids. 


What would you change to help kids learn better?

One thing I would learn to help kids, one thing I would change to help kids learn better is probably just giving them more time. You know, we have so many things that we want them to master in a year and sometimes it feels kind of rushed. Like we just move from a lot of topics, like from one topic to another really quickly, I wish we had less,  areas we could focus on and then they could grow deeper in those specific areas. Probably just giving them more time, you know, I'm first grade, they're still kids. They're little and I wish they had more time to just play and, you know, build those social skills instead of focusing so much on the curriculum.

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