|Tara is a 3rd grade teacher who blogs at www.flavorsfashionandfun.comto give time and money-saving advice to moms. She also combined her passion for teaching with her love of cooking to create Cooking and Learning in the Kitchen. Each lesson includes a kid-friendly recipe with three learning activities for ages 3-12.|
What grades and/or classes do you teach?
I teach third grade.
How long have you been teaching?
This is my 12th year teaching.
What other grades/subjects have you taught, if any?
I taught 5th grade my first year and immediately knew I wanted a younger grade. Third is perfect for me!
Why teaching? What or who inspired you to be a teacher?
I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in 2nd grade. I always enjoyed helping others, especially children who were younger. My fourth grade teacher sealed the deal. She made learning so much fun, and I wanted to be just like her.
Was teaching your first choice in career? If not, what else did you consider?
Teaching was my first choice. The only thing I love as much as teaching is traveling. However, I knew I wanted to have children, and a job traveling wouldn’t have worked.
Have you thought about changing careers since becoming a teacher?
Up until this year, I was 100% happy teaching. Our administration completely changed this year, and the whole mood of my building is different. I’ve started blogging and would love to eventually make that a career.
What was your college major and how has it helped in your teaching career?
I majored in elementary education with a minor in Spanish. I learned the ins and outs of the elementary classroom from some great former teachers. My experiences observing in classrooms and student teaching prepared me for the job. Spanish has helped me communicate with some parents who don’t speak English.
What is your favorite part about being a teacher?
My favorite part of teaching is seeing the growth in my students. They change so much over the course of the year, both academically and in maturity.
What is your least favorite?
My least favorite part is state testing. It’s just not fair. Even if my struggling students try their best and grow a lot over the course of the school year, they still don’t stand a chance on those tests. I wish there were a way to measure individual student progress, rather than using the same standard for everyone. Each student is unique and special. Why should they all have to take the same test?
What are the biggest challenges you face as a teacher?
My biggest challenge is meeting the needs of all my students. In every class, there are students above grade level, on grade level, and below grade level. It’s my job to teach and challenge all of them. My school started using guided math to meet all the students’ math needs. We will be using a reading workshop model next year to help students make individual goals and grow as readers.
What are your goals for your students?
I want my students to learn that they are capable of anything. I want them to work together and persevere even when the task is hard.
What do you want your students to remember about you as a teacher?
I want my students to remember that I care about them. I also want them to remember third grade as a fun year when they learned a lot and had many new experiences.
How do you spend your school breaks?
I spend breaks with my family. I have a 7-year old son and a 3-year old daughter. We love going to the park and cooking together. We also enjoy going on vacation to the beach and Disney World.
Give your best advice for someone who may be thinking about a career in teaching.
Take your student teaching seriously. Go above and beyond, and take the advice your mentor teacher gives you. Not only will that make you a better teacher, but it will also help you get a job.
Any fun or favorite story you want to share?
If you want to follow Tara, you can find her blog at www.flavorsfashionandfun.com or on social media:
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/flavfashandfun/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/flavfashandfun
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/flavorsfashionandfun/