Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, my name is Tiffanie Gray. I am a 5th grade teacher at Westwood Elementary in Oklahoma and I have taught there for 2 years."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I started teaching because I felt that it was the best way to make a difference to teach children to be kind and good citizens before they were out on their own and having to practice that."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could have any other job, I would be a nature photographer because I like the idea of going places where there hasn't been a lot of people. I like the idea of capturing beauty and bringing it back and sharing it and also bringing it back and remembering those moments."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"How are kids different now than 30 years ago, I would say they have had a lot more experiences. They are more active. They're less scared of the teacher as far as being the authority in the room and more opinionated, more new ideas maybe."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"Teaching, how is teaching different now than 30 years ago? Google. I don't know how teachers taught without Google. If students asked them a question that they didn't know, where did they go to find that answer? Now, I just Google it, and check my references, but I Google it and I'm able to come up with an answer on the spot instead of having to get back to them. Or if there is something that I am suppose to be teaching that I'm not quite sure I understand 100%, I can look it up and make sure I know what I am doing before teaching it."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"I would tell someone who is thinking about becoming a teacher to go for it. It is a worthwhile career. It is very challenging and it is very hard. Harder than it looks. More challenging than I ever thought it would be but it is worthwhile. No 2 days are the same, so you don't get bored but it is very fulfilling."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"One thing I would do to help gets kids learn better is teach less material and teach more on the same material. So, teach it more deeply instead of hitting the surface level and moving on. Letting kids really work with the concepts that we are teaching them. I think they would learn better and be able to apply even the less essential skills more easily."