March 28, 2014

Reflections about teaching

Last week one of my former students interviewed me for a college project. The assignment required her to interview someone in the her chosen profession. The former student is heading to be a secondary science teacher, so she contacted me. I'm honored, by the way, and I'm always happy to offer some advice or perspective or something to someone thinking of heading into the teaching profession.

Over the course of the next while, I'm going to answer each of these questions her on my blog. Many of the answers, I would imagine, will have a kernel of the same answer that I gave my former student, but - especially in case she's tuning in around here - I want to warn that they'll not all be exactly the answer I gave her. If' I'm intentionally changing my answer, I'll say why.

Are there any questions from this list that seem particularly of interest to any of you? If so, I'll start with those. Or, are there any different questions about teaching you'd like me to answer? If not, I'll probably work through as I feel.
  1. What do you think your greatest asset is as a teacher?
  2. What is the hardest/easiest part of teaching?
  3. How do you make chemistry exciting to people that may not find it exciting?
  4. How does teaching affect your view of the world?
  5. What do you wish someone would have told you before you started teaching?
  6. How do you incorporate diversity or moral education in a science/math classroom?
  7. What attribute is most important for teachers to have? (knowledge, patience, style of teaching, desire to be with kids, etc)
  8. How do you feel about state testing?
  9. If you would do it all over, would you still be a teacher?
  10. Most rewarding part of your job?
  11. How do you deal with administration?
  12. How do you deal with teaching at a school like Princeton where kids come from completely different backgrounds and will learn in different ways?
  13. Are you a part of the union? does it help you?
  14. How does teaching affect your political views/values?
  15. Any classes you wish you would have taken?
  16. Do you have your masters? would you recommend that I get it? Right away?
  17. How do you feel education has changed over the years you've been teaching?
  18. How does teaching affect home life?
  19. ...social life?
  20. Do you feel appropriately paid for the job you do?
Oh, and the image up top is from an Ann Taylor post on what to wear to a teaching interview. I searched for 'teaching interview', and that's the best thing I got.

4 comments:

Smamy said...

Ok, I am putting in my votes.

1) What attribute is most important for teachers to have? (knowledge, patience, style of teaching, desire to be with kids, etc). I think I know what your answer might be, but that is based on a conversation from college....that took place from about 10pm to 3am one evening/morning. Good times.

2) If you would do it all over, would you still be a teacher? I think this is tough because there are a lot of factors that could play into this. Would you do it again if you could be anything (i.e. independently wealthy with no need for a job, a professional basketball player, computer nerd and become Bill Gates) or would you do it again if you had your abilities and grew up exactly as you did.

3) What do you wish someone would have told you before you started teaching?

4) Any classes you wish you would have taken? This might be a two part question. a) Is there a classes you wish you would have taken that you think would have made you a better teacher, b) or is there a class you just wish you would have taken (i.e. Z201 History of Rock Music at IU, Bagpipes 101 at Aberdeen.....). I am going to throw in a question c) Is there a class that you would teach to incoming teachers and d) is there a class you wish you hope you have the chance to teach before you retire.

PHSChemGuy said...

That would be 7, 9, 5, and 15. I'll put them at the front of the queue and make sure to address each subquestion.

Thanks

Katie Ferchen said...

Is there a defining lesson that your students have taught you throughout your career that other careers may not get the opportunity to experience? Or are there any noteworthy reminders that are brought to your attention each year as you interact with new groups of students?

Katie Ferchen said...

This is from a long time ago-- hope you get this.
Can you write a post about your first year as a teacher?
(Things you had to adjust to, things that were different than expected, biggest challenges, positives, etc.)