Michelle Karpobich, Chemistry Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I consider myself an innovative teacher, trying to create authentic 21st century lessons and environments for my students, but not everyone is ready for educational change. This can lead to confrontations with individuals with different educational mindsets.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
Some people believe that teachers don’t work outside the classroom and are lucky to have “summers off”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Teachers spend MANY hours outside of the classroom preparing lessons, grading papers, writing student letters of recommendation, engaging in professional development, etc. Nothing about our jobs as teachers is easy!
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
I think the role of the teacher in the classroom should be and will be changing. Classrooms should be student-centered learning spaces, not teacher-centered lecture halls. I think more and more teachers are beginning to realize this and will be changing their practice as a result.
What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
Probably having parents and teachers that taught me to practice many of Costa and Kallick’s “16 Habits of Mind” (even though they didn’t have a name for these skills at the time). These skills allow me to be successful in anything that I do.