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Teacher Interview with Kadhir Rajagopal

How would you describe your job to someone considering a teaching career?

How do I do every classroom every day? Basically, you know, I have to plan a lesson for every single day. Really, really important. I cannot do what I do without planning a lesson. Lesson planning is really important. Lesson planning is not a formal thing where you start writing, you know, objective, this, that. I don’t really formally plan my lessons. What I really think about is, ‘ok, what’s my objective?’ You know, I plan an objective. What do I want my students to have mastered by the time the bell rings? By the time they leave my door, what should they be able to do? Then I have to also plan how am I going to deliver that objective to the students? So I’ll just brainstorm some ideas on a paper or think about, you know, what analogies am I going to use, what type of language, how am I going to make it easy for them to understand? And then really, the last part of the lesson plan is after I’ve explained the stuff to them, you know, and I’ve interacted with them, and I feel like they get it, the last part of the lesson plan is proof of mastery. I call it exit price and if you’re not able to succeed on exit price and you know, get passing at least, you know, then you got to come after school and you got to redo it in front of me, or you got to come lunch time. And I won’t let them off the hook. I assess the students during the class time just by circulating, by walking around, and visually I can already tell, this kid got it. He got it. If you really want to make a difference in the student’s life, if you want to, if you like the feeling of taking a student, a kid that has failed all his life, that has struggled, that hates school or thinks he cannot succeed. If you like the feeling of helping to turning around that child, to take him from failure to success, if you like that feeling and you have the heart, the resiliency to have to fight through a few obstacles, then this profession is for you.

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