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Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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7 "However, I think the plans switched because when I moved back home and got this offer, I thought about it. I thought long and hard. And I thought about the impact this class had on my life when I was these kids' age. I pondered upon if I had the ability to do the same for these kids." When she moved back home in the summer of 2015, her plan was to be a substitute teacher for a year. She would then move to Vir- ginia to stay with her godparents and look for a job in the communi- cations field there. She completed her substitute teacher training and had to check with different schools to see which ones needed substitute teachers. One visit brought her home to Mount Olive Middle School. "To my surprise, my former keyboarding teacher, Mrs. (Tammy) Keel, was principal at the time," she said. "She told me they did need subs, and she also told me about this position. So I took a few days. "I thought about it. I weighed the pros and cons. It was like you are getting instant work experience, and this was my favorite class when I was a kid. I said, 'Why not,' and I took the chance. And now I am here." And for now, she plans to stay, and the lateral entry teacher pro- gram is helping her achieve that goal. "At this point I have considered continuing my teaching career," she said. "I can say that being a teacher is rewarding. It is long and hard and stressful, but it is rewarding. I do enjoy working with these kids and building relationships. One of the main things I try to do is instill confidence in children because if you instill the confi- dence in them, then they will at least be willing to try. "Sometimes they are really doubtful, and they have no hesitance in saying it. 'I can't do this. I don't know how to do this.' Walk over there and help them and give them the confidence that they need because once they have that foundational skill laid out, then they will at least be willing to try. They will approach it with a different mindset." Ms. Moore said the lateral entry program is important and is needed, especially where teacher recruitment is concerned. Some people go to school for four years, and they know what they want to do and get a job in their field, she said. Then there are people who go to college for your years, get their degree, but they might want to do something differ- ent with it, Ms. Moore said. "It allows you that flexibility, and if they are really wanting teachers so bad, I think it is a good idea to keep the lateral entry program, because you can't want some- thing and then place limits on how you are going to get it." Lateral entry teachers have three years to take and pass the Praxis in the subject that they are interested in teaching, she said. "You have a plan of study which is issued by the Regional Alternative Licensing Center," Ms. Moore said. "They basically look at your college transcripts and see what classes you have taken and kind of correlate to the field you are trying to teach. "They might tell you that you have classes to take, and these are the classes. You have three years to take them, pass your Praxis and fulfill any county requirements — going to meetings and observing teachers and things of that nature." She teaches three different classes. Sixth-graders are enrolled in exploring technology; sev- enth-graders in exploring engineering and design; and eighth-graders in exploring technological systems. The classes are designed to prepare students for college or a trade. Her classroom has 15 different computers, and each teaches a different subject. For example, one teaches flight technology. It has a joy- stick and flight simulator basic controls. Another allows students to program a robot arm named "Sam" to perform some simple functions, like lifting and moving a golf ball. Several years ago, Wayne County businesses were sur- veyed about the demand for different jobs, she said. "Based on the surveys, these types of jobs were what they were looking for," she said. "So that is what made them want to imple- ment these modules in the classrooms." Ms. Moore said the classes are a good option for students, even though she took the other route by going straight to college. "I think it (CTE program) is very important especially now that I have finished school," she said. "It helps me understand the class dif- ferentiation and learning that not everyone wants to go to college, or can't afford to go to college. "It gives them then opportunity to still be able to do different things, and you can make money. You don't go to school for money first and foremost, obviously. But they have the opportunity to pick up these trades or what-not, and they can earn a four-year degree salary with a two-year degree." For so long upcoming generations of students have been told go to college, go to college, she said. "Now we are sitting here with trillions of dollars in student loan debt so they are like, 'OK, do something else,'" she said. "I think college is an option for students. I don't think it should always be a requirement." Ms. Moore tries to share what she learned in her first year with new first-year teachers. "It kind of feels weird to give her answers because I was in her shoes last year," Ms. Moore said. "I am able to give her advice, and I am like wow. I was actually in that same position last year." Ms. Moore said she also enjoys speaking with more experienced teachers who might still need clarification when the curriculum changes. "At first, I put a lot of pressure on myself –– 'You should know this. You are entering your second year,'" Ms. Moore said. "But then you work with people there who are, 'We are here to work with you.' "We all worked together, collaborate, and that makes it a lot easi- er. Talking with them, it sounds a lot easier when they talk about it than whenever I talk about it because I am still new to the field. They make it sound so easy, which it is for them." 61DCT0217J TEACHER Continued from 6

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