Looking for your ideal job in the education field? Finding the right path can be daunting, but hearing from those who have already walked that road can provide invaluable insights. K12JobsNJ recently interviewed Austin Wilson, an English Teacher, to share his unique experiences and help guide your decision-making process. Austin's story offers a glimpse into the diverse opportunities and challenges within the education industry, empowering you to navigate your own career journey. Gain inspiration and practical wisdom as you embark on this fulfilling path, discovering the endless possibilities that await. Don't miss the chance to learn from Austin's triumphs and make informed choices for your own future in the education field.
Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A. My name is Austin Wilson. I am a teacher with the Yonkers Public Schools District, and this is my 8th year as an English teacher.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
A. My favorite thing about being a teacher is observing my students’ growth and watching them enjoy learning.
Q. What inspired you to become a teacher?
A. I feel a strong desire to help young people self-actualize and develop into productive citizens. This desire has impelled me to become a teacher.
Q. Since the pandemic many students continue facing social and emotional issues. What are you doing to try to address these issues?
A. First, I remain cognizant that my students have experienced a rather traumatic period during COVID and that there are lasting impacts that affect their learning, growth, and social behaviors. That said, I use Social Emotional Learning modalities within my classroom and ensure that everything I do is solidly student-centered. I also ensure that students have a “voice and choice” in my classroom.
Q. Can you describe a typical day as an English teacher?
A. A typical day begins at around 6am in my classroom. I begin my day by taking a few minutes to review my notes and reflections from the previous day and then I create a simple, actionable plan to guide my day. I then either tweak an existing lesson or create a new lesson. After completing my lesson, I run through the lesson as if I was actually delivering it; this is to make sure the lesson is clear and that the pacing is right. At 7:35am, teaching begins with a warm-up activity. Between my instructional periods, I carry out the following: eat my lunch; complete administrative assignment (i.e., monitoring the halls, library, restroom, etc); cover absent teachers’ classroom; perform lesson prep during which I conduct grading, meet with students, call parents, consult with other teachers/admin, reflect on lesson delivery, and plan my next lesson.
Q. What can school districts do to support someone in your role?
A. Recognize and celebrate teacher achievement; reduce the number of coverages teachers receive during the week; and provide technological resources that help teachers provide personalized learning.
Q. What is something you wish people knew about teaching English?
A. Teaching English involves spending time outside the classroom planning lessons and providing actionable review of student work product.
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