Stephanie Tatel, Venable Elementary School

Stephanie Tatel, Reading Specialist, Venable Elementary School

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I love the feeling of making a difference for a teacher to be able to better impact his or her students. It’s always a challenge to know exactly how to make that difference. Classroom teachers have the hardest job in the world and each teacher needs
something different.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
It’s always funny when people who are outside of the field of education think that teaching children is all cute bulletin boards and motivational stickers. They have no idea how dynamic and gritty it really is.
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
In all ways I hope to see more balance: more emphasis on instruction that is meaningful and engaging for children, and less pressure on teachers to cover so many standards; more in-depth and effective professional development that really impacts the instruction teachers provide to children, and more support for school leaders who seek to make school a place that both engages and challenges kids.
What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
Probably having parents who are always learning and curious themselves; and my mom is an educator. I was actually a park ranger in the National Park Service for three years before I became a teacher. I loved the teaching I did in the park service, especially with kids.