Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi TFD. My name is Kellie Palmer and I am an eighth grade teacher at Brookside Middle School. I teach algebra and math and we are located in Sheffield, Ohio., very close to Cleveland and I have been in this district for, this is my 17th year."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I'm a teacher because I've always loved kids and the energy they bring and I come from a long line of teachers in the family. So that helped a little bit."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"I think I could have any other job. It would be, I always wanted to open up my own animal rescue for homeless animals, especially dogs that need a place to go. I already have it named, it's Palmer's Pet Palace. So if I ever win the lottery, maybe I'll do both."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
Um, how are kids different? While I can't really do 30 years ago cause I would've been eight. But I think kids over my, the course of my career, they've, they're still kids. Um, middle school's always been challenging, but I see now they come with just more exposure to things. Maybe they shouldn't have been as early, just with all the social media and all the technology available at their hands. It's, that's just a little bit different than it used to be. And all the drama that that can bring into the classroom."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"Teaching different. I think you just, you still gotta connect with the kids, but you have to also stay up on the technology and you're fighting against, you know, all their video games. And so you gotta find ways to keep, you know, math fun and exciting and something that they actually look forward to maybe doing."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"If you're thinking about being a teacher, I'd say it's awesome. Go for it. It's very rewarding. However, keep in mind they can only teach you so much in school. You learn how it really is on the job and you gotta be ready for anything. Um, not only what happens in the classroom and what students bring with them and, but also all the things expected of you by either your administration. Of course, the state. Um, there's some things, like I said, you just, they can't teach you in college. You have to just learn on the job. So be ready for things that you've never really learned in, you know, in your, on your side of the classroom."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"One thing I would change is the high stakes testing. Um, it really, I see the stress in kids and I worry that, you know, it hurts them or each year it seems like they get so stressed out about passing this darn test and I'm like, you know, Hey, we've done our best, let's, you know, to prepare, don't let it get to you. And then I hate how that score is reflected, you know, just as a teacher and as a building and you know, you're talking about one day and if that kid comes in with, you know, not having such a good night or week or whatever, it just seems like so much is projected into that one test score and it shouldn't be like that. That is just, you know, a glimpse of a kid. It has nothing you know about their, their kindness and their, who they are as a person. I hate how everything has to be attached to a number and like nothing else. Um, so, but I'm in here for the long haul, so I'll be here for awhile and I just wanted to share my seven questions. Hope everyone has a great day. Teaching is awesome though, because where else could you put as your homework: get Reesie cups for Halloween and they come through."