Lauren Sandridge, Kindergarten Teacher, Greenbrier Elementary School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
One of the most challenging aspects of my job happens to coincide with one of my favorite things about my job. It has always been a challenge to reach every student on his or her own academic level, as every kindergartener walks into my room with a different foundation. I am very fortunate to have a number of students from many different places around the world. Some of these students have already learned English, however, many have not. This makes for a very well rounded and positive learning environment. It also poses a bit of a challenge when trying to help every student reach their academic goals. I am very fortunate to work in a building that has many programs that help support classroom teachers and their students.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
I once listened to a local radio station take a poll on “the biggest slacker job” and much to my dismay teaching won. It is a common misconception that teachers have all summer off and work normal hours during the school year. We do get some time in the summer, but many of us teach summer school, work on curriculum development and do some type of professional development during that time as well. Teachers that love their job and students spend an incredible amount of time and effort during the year to be the best that they can for their students. You never leave your job “at the office” as a teacher.
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
In five years, I predict a very technology-driven environment. Technology is already very prevalent in the teaching field at the moment, but I see it moving even more in that direction. I believe that this direction has both pros and cons that accompany it.
What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
I have always been involved in some type of musical performance, whether it was performing in a musical, singing in a choir, playing in a band or in an a cappella group. Performing has helped me develop a presence in the classroom. Teaching is a form of performing. Getting in front of a classroom of students can be daunting at first; having experience in performing was quite helpful.