Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Melinda. I am a teacher at Hopewell area school district in Western Pennsylvania. Currently, I teach middle school, life skills, and autistic support. I have worked at the school district for seven years.
Why did you start a career in education?
Why did I start my career in education? I took a position as a teacher assistant at an alternative school and really enjoyed helping the students learn and understand the material. And I really enjoyed creating and presenting lessons whenever I was given the opportunity. So, at that point, I decided to go back and get my master's degree in special education.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
If I have another job, what would it be? And why? I would probably be an occupational or physical therapist. I have really enjoyed, working with those individuals, problem-solving, ways to help my students with complex needs. Um, and I think that would be something that I could do as a job.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
How are kids different than 30 years ago? I think kids have a lot more challenges today than 30 years ago in terms of access to technologies, social media, being overwhelmed with information, whether it's valid or not and trying to sort through all that and you know, dealing with cyber issues and things that come with social media. And so, you know, I, I think a lot of times it's more difficult to help them problem solve when things get hard, um, because they're just kind of used to being able to get what they want or access what they want in an instant. So, but I have just found that if you are creative that, typically you can reach the kids and help them through their frustration and help them learn the material.
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
How has teaching different than 30 years ago? I think teaching today, um, you really need to build relationships with your kids you know and be able to do some creative lessons and engaging lessons to get them hooked, and involved, in-class discussions and you know, to get them excited about learning. And there is today, you know, there are a lot more things you can do with technology. So I think technology is the biggest difference between now and 30 years ago.
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
For someone who wants to be a teacher, what would I tell them? I would tell them that if you care about your students and you know, work hard to be creative and engaging and build those relationships with students that you will be great. And, you know, there are a lot of frustrations out there, um, with everything that teachers have to do, but, you know, when you build a relationship with a student and you can help them to, um, learn something that they thought they could never learn or understand something, um, and you see them, um, see their confidence grow, it's so rewarding and fulfilling. You know, and just to see them be successful in life is really rewarding
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
What is one thing I would change to help kids learn better. I would say probably giving teachers more time to plan and collaborate with other teachers in the building. That is something that It is Definitely lacking. And you know, a lot of times teachers must take their work home with them to plan and prepare. And so, you know, I think that would, could be beneficial, to help kids learn better. So those are my seven questions.