Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is Rhonda Barnhardt and I teach third grade at Shive elementary school in Rockwell North Carolina. I have been there for the past 12 years, since the school opened and I am in my 28th year of teaching
Why did you start a career in education?
"A career in education because I always loved being around children, watching them learn and teaching them new things."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could have any other job in the world, it would be too being on a catamaran in the Caribbean, selling lemonade and a stand on the beach or somewhere because I just loved being at the beach. The sun just makes me feel so much better."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"Kids today are different than kids 30 years ago. Um, and a sense that they don't know how to think independently anymore. They rely too much on the internet. They don't know how to play. They don't know how to communicate. "
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"And teaching is much different because we are required to integrate technology into our lessons. Um, children are much less respectful than they were 30 years ago and they really don't know how to study using a text."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"If I were telling someone now about being a teacher going into education, I would tell them to weigh their options very carefully because it's not a job that is, um, gets a lot of pay. The rewards of seeing students learn and making connections and relationships is what it's all about. But the mandates that come from the state and the County are at times very overbearing and overwhelming."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"One thing that I would change to help kids learn better is the take the iPads away and get back to the basics of, um, textbooks, actual paper print material, because I think we use too much technology in teaching today. Thanks so much."