Nancy Bowen, Math Teacher, Murray High School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Everyone uses technology all of the time now and it is ever-changing. In the last five years I have used several computer operating systems and three different electronic grade books. By the way, our grade books are now open to both parents and students. Parents email on a daily basis. I have used a Smart board and Activboard for delivery of instruction. We are using new technology all of the time and producing much more work if you look at education as a product.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
People think that teachers have a lot of days off. We will finish on June 13 this year and start again on August 11. But this summer many teachers will work another week or two in professional development. Even when we had all of those snow days, I was grading papers and working on new lessons. I spend a lot of evenings and weekends working on school work and the down time in summer is important.
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
I love the fact that there are so many digital resources to help students and teachers with learning. But frankly, I think there will always be a demand for math teachers who will help explain concepts.
What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
I used to be a meet director for the City of Charlottesville Swim Team. When you are running a swim meet with several hundred people, it helps to be well prepared and to be flexible so you can make changes as necessary. Some things are out of your control, but you have to try to make the whole system run smoothly. That applies to a classroom or school.