Question: What are some skills you think are important to being a good teacher?.
When I asked this question to my neighbor, Mrs. Agliata, she smiled and told me to be a good teacher you must be patient. She told me that when she first started teaching first grade, she was young and more excited about the material than her students were. Mrs. Agliata has been teaching for over twenty five years and she believes that another good quality of a teacher is variety. She feels that many students get bored and lose their attention very quickly so you must be able to switch up things in class. She used a good example to explain this a little bit better. Mrs. Agliata said that she would only talk for about ten or fifteen minutes and then she would have the students do work in groups for about ten minutes. She also believes that keeping a topic interesting is a really tough for a teacher. "With twenty five years of experience I have pretty much narrowed down what my students want and don't want from me." She says that many students would rather work in groups all the time, but that cannot be possible because I have to be able to teach them something. I asked Mrs. Agliata if she could tell me briefly how she felt about the constructivist learning theory. She says that she is all for it and tries to incorporate some of these topics in her classroom. She says that the problem with it is that, in some schools, the curriculum is set by the administration and whatever they say goes. "Its hard to use this system in a school where the administration feels that the old way is the only way." The old way that Mrs. Agliata is referring to is the traditional classroom style, lecturing, rows of desks, and reliance on the individual student. "The best way I can tell you to be able to find out what skills are good for being a teacher is actually teaching.".
Interview #2: Mrs. Grey, 10th Grade Teacher.
Question: How do you plan your lessons to be appealing to students?.