Educator Philosophy Interview

Educator's Beliefs

Where do you think Education is headed?

Ms. Stephens: I want to be honest, I am disappointed in the way education is headed. There are a few flaws with the education system that unless a person has a true passion for teaching, I would not suggest even any of my grandchildren to become a teacher. Now where do I start: The new common core standards are not researched enough and this idea was implemented without asking teachers how they feel about it. The way education seems to be headed is that in the future without positive changes, teacher input is going to be almost non existent. Teachers are not trained properly and children are held to high expectations. Furthermore, now it seems as if teachers are only teaching to prep children to pass exams. I have been a daycare worker for over 20 years and the administrative aspect of the job increased but the pay is lacking. I am close to retirement and I do not want to leave the teaching field completely but maybe become a substitute.

Ms. Jeter: I think education is headed in a great direction. More teachers are becoming accustomed to the idea of individualized instruction and they are really giving it their all. Also, I think the idea and practice of individualized instruction will benefit our children greatly. In my school, there is a special need for individualized instruction and RTI interventions. We've implemented many different ones and some have worked in our favor. One reason is because it works in favor of the student. It works to build the weaknesses and strengthen the strengths that a student has.

Ms. Oliver: It is for special education - Education keeps moving toward work skills and community skills. It is the soul plan to involve parents and outside community that creates a steady environment for education in most schools. It's all about what the student will do during school and after graduation with helping them achieve their greatest potential.

How have your own life experiences shaped your current philosophy regarding education?

Ms. Stephens: I have taught for many years and before the state decided to implement new guidelines, teachers had more say in what can be done. We had our own methods of teaching and personally, I enjoyed teaching more. Not saying I have lost the passion but teaching is just not the same as it once were. Regarding my current philosophy, I do not believe students need to be bombarded with test after test to meet current expectations, so I am definitely on the opposing end of the spectrum regarding common core standards. That makes me wonder, in the future, will testing requirements increase?

Ms. Jeter: My own life experiences has shaped my current philosophy greatly. When I was younger, I worked hard to be and stay an "A" student. I continuously tell my students that hard work is the key to success. I believe that all students need to know the value of hard work and I try my best to instill that in them every day.

Ms. Oliver: My own life experiences include having a son w special needs. It drove me to special education. It also was the desire to aid in helping others advance in life that built my philosophy that students can achieve an improved set of skills for functioning in life.

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"The way education seems to be headed is that in the future without positive changes." - Denise Stephens

Findings from Interviews

We each used teachers of different levels to interview-----I used a head start teacher, Brandon a fourth grade teacher, and Dorothy a special education teacher. Ms. Stephens (head start teacher) thinks the education system is flawed, whereas Ms. Jeter likes the direction it is headed. We also have to take into consider that not all schools are created equally and the school district and standards in New York could be different in (I am assuming) South Carolina; which ignites such a response that Ms. Stephens feel the school system is a disappointment. Ms. Oliver's and Ms. Jeter's life experiences are more personal because growing up a particular way or faced with a particular situation has built a passion for the two women becoming teachers. Ms. Stephens response was directed toward the current educational system and her believing that challenging testing requirements do not make children exceptional. Because she has teaching experience before changes have taken place, Ms. Stephens thinks the educational system was better left "untouched".

The different in the amount of years taught can really affect your thoughts about education and the education systems. I believe one of the biggest differences between Ms. Jeter and Ms. Stephens is the number of years taught. Although, they do sure some similarities. Ms. Stephens thinks that the Common Core standards are not good for the children because they are not researched enough and no one asked for teacher input. Also, each teacher's life experiences has caused her to be aware of issues their students may be facing. For example, Ms. Oliver stated that her son is special needs. She is constantly dealing with the issues he faces so she is more aware of what her students may or is facing.

Learning Team C