Genia Connell, a top Scholastic blogger, teaches third grade in Michigan's Troy School District. On Wednesday, August 20, Connell will address new and aspiring teachers at Scholastic's New York City headquarters. Her topic: "Classroom Management and Organization Made Easy."
We recently asked Connell about the insights she has gained after 25 years in the classroom:
Q. What is your #1 tip for new teachers?
A. Reach out to other teachers for advice when you need help and even when you think you don't. Few new teachers realize the demands of the job until they're in it, and building a strong support system in your building will help you get through those inevitable rough patches.
Q. If you had to do it over again, would you become a teacher?
A. I love my job more now than I did when I started 25 years ago, and I still get ridiculously excited when the first back-to-school sales start in July. So I guess I'd have to say I would definitely do it all over again.
Q. What is the one thing you'd like to tell people who have never taught before?
A. Teaching can be the most rewarding and frustrating experience, all at the same time. If you are not a teacher, volunteer in a local school to help the children in your community and to see all the good things that are happening in schools today.
Q. Do you think education is moving in the right direction?
A. I can't give you a definitive answer on this one. I'm actually happy with the new Common Core Standards we've been using to guide our teaching, but I still think work needs to be done on how best to assess students. I want each and every one of my students to succeed and thrive academically and socially, but not necessarily in an environment where the standardized test is king.