Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hello. My name is Anna Cossairt and I am a library media specialist at Park Elementary in Three Rivers, Michigan. This is my sixth year with the district. My second year in my current position."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I have always wanted to work in education. My mom was a teacher and I wanted to be just like her. I love to play school as a child and ended up with a work study position as a reading tutor. This led me to work at an after-school program with kids who had emotional disabilities. Then I landed a title one aid position and finally to my library position."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"I love my job, but if I could get paid to do anything, I would work from home and be a problem solver. I would have people call or email and I would solve their problems. They charge them a fee."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"I wasn't alive 30 years ago, but I think kids today have different advantages and disadvantages. Kids today may not have the opportunity to be bored, which leads them to expect to be entertained rather than being creative, coming up with fun things to do. On the other hand, children today have access to a lot more information and technology than we've ever had in our lifetimes."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"From my experience, teaching today is much more differentiated and hands on than it used to be. For example, my mother-in-law isn't a strong reader because she got very little phonics instruction. Whereas if she were in school today, she would have given much more. She would've been given much more support."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"To anyone who is thinking about teaching. There are good days and bad days, but education is the place you want to be. If you want associates for a better future."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"If I could change anything in education, I would have much less testing and much more learning by doing rather than just teaching for a test. Thank you."