Megan Morton, ESOL Teacher, Cale Elementary School
What has your classroom experience taught you that studying education could not have prepared you for?
The thing that has left the biggest impression on me is how different each and every student is. You can learn the best practices in education and what the latest research says, but it’s not until you meet your kids that you can really apply what you’ve learned. What is appropriate for one student may not work for another, so you have to constantly be flexible and celebrate what each individual child brings to the table.
What teaching adjustments do you plan to make moving forward?
This school year I hope to expand the use of technology into my lessons. Technology is an excellent way to engage students and make them excited to learn! Skype in the Classroom is a wonderful resource for teachers. We’ll be skyping with authors about their writing processes and talking to other students around the world to build oral language skills.
In your eyes, what is the biggest challenge facing education currently?
As an ESOL teacher, I think that the biggest challenge for my students is standardized testing. Teachers spend a lot of time and energy differentiating instruction for our English Language Learners and leveling materials appropriately for each student; however, tests fail to do this. I hope that they catch on soon!
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.