Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hey guys, Amanda Reeves here. I am a teacher at Quitman High School in Quitman, Mississippi. I am teaching algebra one and I'm also the department chair for math. I coached two varsity sports and I am the sponsor for two organizations in our school. I've been teaching at Quitman school district for 11 years and I've been at the high school for the last three years."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I became an educator because even when I was in high school, I really enjoyed helping my classmates to get those aha moments. And I translated that into a, an organization, um, for tutoring students in my school when I was in high school. Um, and I'm working now in the school where I graduated from, which I think is kinda neat. Um, but I really still love that aha moment and helping kids to understand that learning is not as difficult as they want to make it out to be."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could have any other job, I would definitely be a writer or working in an aquarium or, um, some kind of natural sciences museum.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"Kids are very different now than they were 30 years ago. Um, and I think one of the biggest things that makes them different now is that they are very much seeking the instant gratification and they want their learning to be an instant gratification thing as well. They want everything to come to them in 140 characters or less. They want everything to come to them in small pieces that are easily understood."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"And that has translated into big changes for teachers because teachers from 30 years ago didn't have to operate with those, those personalities that are instantly gratified all the time. The students were on this teacher's timeline and now I feel like that role, that role is reversed and the teachers are definitely on the student's timeline."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"As someone who was considering becoming a teacher, I would definitely tell them to know themselves first to understand that teaching is not an easy career. It is a very challenging career, but one that is very worthwhile. But to make sure that they know themselves and know that they can handle the pressures, the stress and all of the different aspects that come with it. Because anybody who's going to become a teacher needs to be prepared to be a good teacher, a great teacher."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"And lastly, one thing that I would change about education to make learning easier for students is that I would realign the standards that we're currently operating under to make sure that they are developmentally appropriate for, um, what brain science tells us we're ready for. I feel like right now our current standards, um, are out of alignment with what the brain is cognitively able to, um, recognize and learn at any given state. Um, and I would go back to, um, previous standards, um, even those from early on, um, or 30 years ago, as you mentioned in your questions so that, um, we were teaching developmentally appropriate standards at any given time. Thanks so much for this offer. And, um, I can't wait to get my earbuds."