Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is John Mathis. I'm currently a social studies and computer teacher at Crescent Academy. It's located in Southfield, Michigan. This is my first year at this school, second overall, after leaving the field for a few years."
Why did you start a career in education?
"The reason I chose teaching is just because I kind of had the passion for it and kind of one of those great teachers in the past that made me want to do fall a field. Even though I left the field for a few years to pursue other careers, I came back to teaching just because that's where my heart and passion was."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"Um, if I could do anything else, it would probably be a lawyer. I'd say, you know, I've done a few things. Like I said, I left and I actually became a store manager and I gave that up to follow teaching."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"Again, as far as teaching the last third years and experience what kids go through, so much has changed. I mean nowadays you have so much technology if they're at their fingertips and you can really, you're able to bring into the classroom to even when it comes to research, you know, it's no longer having to go through a card catalog and pull up multiple books to find information. It's all at your fingertips. Um, with that said though, they can also be difficult part of teaching because now you have to deal with all the other distractions that come along with it. But it makes it a lot. I think some parts easier just because there's so much more you can do and have fun with it"
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"That's great and awesome. But there are tough parts, you know, dealing with the everyday drama and when you come adding with technology, you get the social media aspect and dealing with what's going on outside of school. It's, and it's a lot tougher nowadays with, like I said, social media because now there's bullying and fights that are going on behind the scenes that you have no idea are going on in the lives of students. But with all that, putting that aside, it's such an awesome experience when you're able to break through through a student and see them get the concept or when that light bulb goes on, or maybe just having that moment where they decided to turn their academic career around and go from a failing student to getting straight A's. It's such an awesome experience watching them grow over the course of a year."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"If I could change anything to help in education or wish I could change. Like I said, sometimes the social media aspect is hard to deal with just because there's so much going on. It's rough. You don't see it going on and sometimes it boils over into the classroom and you don't know what's going on until you find out, get the full story. So that's something I haven't how you could change that, but I wish I could change some of that. But things you can change. I wish love changes. Just being able to bring in more technology in the classroom, more like virtual field trips. Really being able to, even though it's able, you're able to having the benefits and the technology and the budget to do more interaction with other schools and tap into those resources. And, you know, I know like Google has a virtual, Google has, can take virtual field trips in which I can, we could have all that stuff. But with that, I just say, I guess really tapping into the technology aspect of it and being able to build those relations."