Brandi Roberson, 1st Grade Teacher, Jackson-Via Elementary School
What has your classroom experience taught you that studying education could not have prepared you for?
The two biggest things I’ve learned are balancing school and personal time and being flexible to change things around in my room to meet the needs of my students. I realized when I did carve time for myself I came in more energized and refreshed, which gave me the momentum to be flexible and open to changing things around and incorporating new ideas. I learned from this year that I was more flexible than I thought and found a lot of enjoyment in trying to find what worked best for each student. It became almost like a puzzle to find what clicked for each individual.
What teaching adjustments do you plan to make moving forward?
One adjustment I plan on making is focusing on centers for math and reading and really tailoring them to meet each student’s needs to improve achievement in the room. Another big adjustment I plan on making is incorporating Responsive Classroom, a positive classroom management approach to encourage safety and success with student achievement. After taking the class over the summer, I am very excited to bring in morning meetings and a classroom set up for success.
In your eyes, what is the biggest challenge facing education currently?
Funding for schools. We hear often in the news how there are budget cuts or deficits that affect employees, students, and the school as a whole. It seems class sizes are becoming bigger, which makes it more of a challenge to work one-on-one with each student to meet their needs. Budget cuts and deficits also make it hard for schools to implement and use a lot of new resources that could impact and improve student learning if incorporated.
For the next few weeks, to gain insight on what important lessons our young teachers learn early in their careers, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator profiles will feature first- and second-year teachers.