My Book-Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps
Mrs. Portulaca Purpilopilis
and the Purple Adventure Goggles
Facts to Wow your Friends!
Career Choice: Teacher
Skroback Hennessey 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher
1. Can you explain to young people just what a Teacher is?
A teacher is a person who tries to create an awareness in learning in his/her students.
2. What is the best part of your job?
All the different interactions with the students and seeing their positive responses during a lesson. I remember when I would give my lesson on Egyptian mummies and telling how they were made(and all the gory details), you could see, all the students were listening to that particular lesson!
3. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of your career choice?
I would say the most difficult part of teaching is when you can’t reach a student in seeing that learning is the key to their future success and happiness later in life and lack of cooperation from some parents in working with me as a partner toward this goal.
4. Do you have a memory you'd like to share with young people concerning your job?
After teaching for 33 years, I have so many memories that it’s difficult to pick one or two. One year, a student, who knew I loved lilacs, brought in two large garbage bags filled with the flowers....he’d cut down most of his parents’ tree! I would dress up with wigs(Middle Ages) and costumes(Egyptian queen, Indian guest Islamic guest, etc.),open the window and yell ,”great answer” and was known to get up on my desk and dance if a student really did something to impress me(even in my last year of teaching!) Another is organizing the end of the year trip to NYC and the amazement on the faces of my students(from a rural area) seeing skyscrapers for the first time or the time the bus drove by the Intrepid and the students got out of their seats, pointing and getting all excited. A colleague and I were so excited that they were impressed by what we thought was the Intrepid to then hear....”Wow-look at all those vending machines!”
5. What are the necessary skills/degrees needed to become a teacher?
A teacher needs to first have a 4 year college degree in education and a specialization in an area of study. In most states, a teacher now needs to have a graduate degree as well to be permanently certified to teach in public schools(at least in NY). Someone who wants to become a teacher needs to have lots of patience, communication skills, computer skills since most grading is now done on computers/ to develop power point lessons, sense of humor, good oral speaking skills, be flexible, motivation skills, organization skills, leadership skills,like doing research, knowledgeable of subject matter, have a bit of “acting” talent, etc.
6. Any suggestions for young people who might be interested in your career? How can they begin now to get prepared for your career?
I remember in an attic having a desk and having “school” with my friend and sister, giving spelling tests and the “fun” of marking the papers! Hmmm, marking 100 social studies tests wasn’t that much “fun”. If you think you want to become a teacher, try tutoring students in a subject, join the school play, take public speaking classes and whenever you have an opportunity, participate in class and get practice in speaking with others.
7. Where can you work as a teacher?
You can teach in public schools, private school, college, you can work for educational magazines, and work in the business sector training/teaching employees.
8 . Describe a typical day at your job.
I would get to work around 7:15, put on the computer, place the day’s menu on the chalkboard, make sure I had everything organized for the lesson, say hi to my colleagues, stand in the hall greeting students as they arrived. In addition to teaching, I marked papers, did planning, on going researching of topics, called parents of students with difficulties or making” happy calls” to those students doing their best, have students in at lunch for extra help or counseling, walk during some of my prep time, go home and continue to do paper work.
9. What got you interested in becoming a teacher? Did anything in school or your childhood help spark this interest?
I’d say it was my 9th and 10th grade social studies teachers. Neither made history an interesting topic and I thought that I wanted to try and make it so.... the world is an amazing place and I wanted to inspire this interest in young people.