Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Sandra Ladipaolo. I teach at Dunlap High School and Dunlap, Illinois, and I've been teaching. This is my 17th year, mostly teach upper-level Spanish honors courses. What they consider a Spanish three pre-AP four pre AP and five AP. Um, I started my career in education because I'm an immigrant and I had three wonderful girls that taught me how to speak English back in 1990. And they took the time to not only teach me English, but all about all the cultural aspects of the US and I felt that the only way to pay it back was to pay it forward.
Why did you start a career in education?
And so, I always felt like teaching was part of my, my life longing career. I just never knew what I wanted to teach. And it was not until high school that I had an amazing Spanish teacher who inspired me to become a Spanish teacher.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
if I could have any other job, another job, what would it be and why? Oh my gosh, I would love to be on Saturday night live because I love laughing and I love to make other people laugh. I usually write like little antiques that the students do. And later, in the years, I will bring up a couple of those. I keep little post-it notes in my desk. I will show you of like funny things that they have said over the years. I really feel that I could put a skit together quick and make America laugh. So, there is my, my dream job
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
how are kids different now than 30 years ago? I, you know, this is a patented answer, but I really feel that technology has made education a lot more challenging because our students can find the answers very quickly online and they don't really need us anymore, per se. We are more here to show them the process and to be their advocate, their supporter. We, we do, you know, help in showing them how things are set up, but I really feel that, um, they're no longer looking at us for answers anymore and where before students were looking for to teachers for answers. And now we do not really have all the answers because we cannot compete with, with Google.
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago? I think I kind of answered that. And then I, I also feel that kids are different because they have hands-on technology that they can research very quickly. You know, if a teacher doesn't give the answer right away, they can find it very fast and then answer. So, I feel that students have access and access to information that they didn't have 30 years ago.
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
What would you tell someone right now that is thinking about becoming a teacher? This question is so hard. Teaching is such a fulfilling, fulfilling career. It is extremely rewarding with COVID. It has become so draining for some of us that many of my colleagues are choosing to change careers possibly because we do not see an end. Okay. I would say really research and what you are getting yourself into the fact of the matter is it is not just about the content. It is about student advocacy. It is about student, um, experience. It is about creating culture. It is about valuing making connections with students and with colleagues. It is so much more than just let me show you how Spanish is amazing. And if you are willing to embark in that whole concept, not only that, but like the possibility of a school shooting and getting COVID and all the things then come on in, you have to really research and what you're getting yourself into.
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
what, um, what is one thing you would change to help kids learn better? I think their confidence, I think students have a really hard time with confidence and no, they don't realize how much they already know and what they can apply to the knowledge that we're giving them because in education, everything really is a scaffold and they tend to shut down when you're getting ready to explain a new concept. And the bottom line is they have prior knowledge in general that can really help them with the next step. And so, confidence is what I would change to help students Be better. Okay. I think that is It. Thank you so much. I appreciate that your buds, I ran out today. My students use to use ed puzzle and to alert, use my video lessons when I'm gone because of a variety of things, whether it's quarantine, whether it's because I have a kid sick at home, that's why I have to quarantine for that. So, I really appreciate that you are doing this for all of us. Take care.