Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is Patrick Vernon. I appreciate the opportunity to answer these seven questions and here we go. So as I said, Patrick Vernon is my name. I'm a sixth grade science and social studies teacher at Western Middle School in Elon, North Carolina. I've been teaching for 26 years and all of them have been at the same school. Next question up."
Why did you start a career in education?
"Why did I start a career in education? I want to help people. I love learning. I love working with kids that the eighth I work at, um, they're, they're still the innocence of children, but also they're starting to spread their minds and, and become more adult like, and so starting to think for themselves, I like being able to, to help them in that process."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I can have any other job. Well, I in high school and then also in college, I worked at a radio station and so I'd love to be a disc jockey. Um, I've always said that I have a face for radio and just enjoy that."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"How are kids different than they were 30 years ago? Well, I think one of the things that makes them different is the constant contact with their peers and with through social media. It used to be that when they left the school or got off the bus, they were at their house. They might call somebody and talk to them, but that was certainly one on one or see folks in the neighborhood. But they could kind of decide when and where, um, you know, if they've got a phone at their friends or in their pocket, um, or they're on an iPad or it's just constant contact. Uh, when I was little, I lived in the country and so when I went home for the summer, I didn't really see any of my friends unless they, I made a conscious effort to go to their house or our column and, uh, and kids can't get away from each other now. And so they need a chance to decompress and, and find out who they are on their own and also be in more contact with their families. Um, social media, I think sometimes give a Gibson perception of what other people are like and you feel like how could live up to it. And then, um, I just think that's one of the biggest things. I mean need a chance to disconnect and they can't."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"How is teaching different than it was 30 years ago? Well, I think schools are now expected to cure a lot of the ills of society, uh, that previously, you know, people were just sent to school and we taught them and, and there's just so much additional social support that we have to, to, to have in the meantime. There are also standards we still have to have. And so you're juggling keeping up with the standards, but also helping those kids with the needs that they have."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"What would I tell someone who's going into the field right now? I would thank them. I would remind them that, um, stay balanced, you know, stilled, uh, have leave time for yourself and time for your health. Um, because it's, it's an all consuming job and, um, and, and take care of yourself because if you don't take care of yourself and you're not there."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"What's thing I would change to help kids learn better? Hmm, that's a good question. I, um, I would just like to see, um, decision making and access to fund to be more in the hand to the educators, um, that know what they need to do to be successful with students in the classroom. Um, some, you know, people above you are, are, are willing to listen and, and willing to give you the backing. And then some people just don't feel the support. Um, and so, um, that's one thing that I think would help is that if teachers were use more as leaders in the process of making education better. Thanks for letting me ask, answer the seven questions."