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Kaitlyn Smith March 12, 2014 Teacher Interview Language Arts Black- my questions Blue- Teacher response 1.

How long have you been teaching? I have been teaching for one year. I graduated from UNCC last year and started teaching this year. 2. How is your experience so far? I think that anyone that goes into education believes that they are going to hit the ground running and changing the world with each batch of 23 students they get. Reality is, I have probably learned and grown this past year just as much as my students have. There is a dimension to teaching that you don't understand until you are a first year teacher. I have had to learn that my ideas matter, and that I should share my ideas with confidence. I have also learned that there is a time to step back and nod your head and watch the pros. My biggest piece of advice to anyone approaching their first year of teaching would be if you're willing to put your selfish desires and wants to the side for the first 6 months and focus on your own practice and approach in the classroom it will make the rest of the year much smoother. Put the work in and the reward will come at some point. 3. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why? I love to teach Math and Science because of how many avenues there are available to interest and engage students. I love the creativity that come can from inquiry based instruction.

4. What is your favorite subject in general? My favorite subject in general would be Science! Science connects so much to student's lives and we all share so much in common with Science content so there is normally not any discrepancies across cultures. 5. What is your typical lesson plan format? My lesson plans model after the principal's non-negotiables. Plans include an I do, We do, You do, Differentiation, Technology, Assessment, and homework. I added technology and homework to my plans so that I am keeping track of how I'm implementing the resources available to me at my school. 6. What is you schedule for the day? Our daily schedule is located in the front of the classroom beside the white board so it is accessible for the students at all times. During our morning meeting each morning we discuss what specials we have for that certain day and anything that is going home. This is also the time I pass out any fundraising papers or anything that needs to go in their folders for their parents to read.

7. What are some challenges you have face with teaching? The biggest challenge I face teaching is the ability to be okay with not getting it all done. I will never have

everything done, and when I do have it all done there is always more to reflect and improve on. Without realizing this and reminding myself of this I would quickly get so discouraged. Another challenge I faced was being okay with trial and error. I teach all subjects and each day is unique which means reflecting on my lessons is really hard. I suggest printing out lessons and having them out so that you can quickly jot notes for yourself late to reflect on. 8. What are you class rules? The classroom rules are posted in the classroom beside the white board. When the class or an individual is misbehaving I point to our classroom rules so they can remember what I expect. The five main rules are follow directions, be responsible, show respect, be prepared and punctual, and try your BEST.

9. What are the consequences for good and bad behavior? The consequences are posted in the classroom on a bulletin board. I will remind the students to look at the board and remind themselves of the class expectations and what may come of them if they are exceeded or broken. The left side of the consequence board is the

good consequences and the right side is the bad. A lot of the times I write positive notes in the students agenda because I know the student and parents both enjoy good notes.

10. Do you have drama in the classroom? If so, what do you do about it? Seeing as how I have a fifth grade class and hormones are affecting their greater judgment I deal with drama more often that I would assume a younger grade level would. I keep high expectations for all students so when drama does arise I address it immediately. One thing I am very proud of is how I from the start made all the students feel comfortable with coming to me with bullying, and rumors. The class understands that there is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this. They are faced with immediate consequences when it occurs. Some students don't always feel comfortable with pulling you to the side and telling you, so I've open the option to students to slip me notes letting me know about an issue that is stirring. 11. Do you prefer switching classes and students throughout the day? I do prefer switching classes, however I have found it very hard to switch classes and teach

two different content areas. You are to be an expert on your students and their levels, progress, then on top of that be an expert on the content! This has proved to be hard while switching. It makes it harder for me to reflect on my lessons and see individual growth. However, I think switching classes prepares students for the middle school model as well as breaks up their day and allows for any reset buttons to be activated. 12. How often do you teach science and social studies? I teach Science daily, and Social studies is integrated and/or completed during morning work. 13. How do you incorporate differentiation in your classroom? Differentiation comes naturally to me, I allow for student creativity, which means students can adapt their product to their own abilities. With station models in math and literacy it makes it easy to differentiate. You can always find a way to take the content and deliver it different ways and on different levels 14. What do you do as a teacher to keep the students on task and to motivate them? I do my best to engage students by walking around and interacting with them at their seats. I hardly ever stand at the front of the class unless I'm working on the SmartBoard. The expectation is all students are working, participating and learning. I enforce those expectations and I've seen positive behavior. Also, make the lesson so that interests them. If you give the students all the great parts of the lesson in the introduction then there is nothing left for them to stay checked in about. Think about a movie trailer that gives you all the funny parts when you finally watch the entire movie you're bored because all the good parts have been revealed.

15. What do you do to encourage parents? I love the compliment sandwich! I always highlight a students growth. Growth is more important than grade level especially amongst low-socioeconomic populations of students. Typcially, I will encourage parents with the things their students are doing well currently, then I will preset 12 areas of concerns. I stick to just 1-2 because it can be overwhelming for parents to hear a list of things they aren't doing well. I give parents a task that if they want to they can work on at home with their child. After I share these concerns I then share the growth with the parents. I like showing the growth at the end because it gives the parents a vision of their child-moving forward, which is encouraging. 16. What is your favorite part of teaching? My favorite part of teaching isn't even the 'aha' moments of learning new content. It's the excitement and relational side of bonding with these young people who desperately need role models and people to teach them how to be effective citizens. Sure, seeing growth in data is FABULOUS but even more than that, seeing a class bond together and function as respectful, kind individuals who are not okay with 'getting by'. I love this answer to the question I asked my teacher. It is really encouraging to see how much she enjoys establishing bonds with her students because that is what I am really looking forward to. 17. Do you have any advice you can give me? My advice to you would be to first, breathe it will all work out. Secondly, if all else fails, worst lesson plans, flopped experiments, late attendance, other catastrophes occur ALWAYS do things for the best interest of the child. If you put students first and their best interest at the

forefront of everything you do you will NOT fail them. It's hard to do but worth it!