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Teacher Interview with Marsha Stanley

What is your biggest challenge as a teacher?

There are differences in levels of cognition for students. Some have a real strong knowledge base of English, some have a very limited [one]. In fact I have one student who just came from another country this year who speaks very little English, and so I have this situation where I am trying to teach all different levels, keep them all engaged and keep them interested and yet still maintain the state standards that are required in our school system, still maintain teaching them to all students. The biggest challenge is how do you do this, keep it interesting so the students will stay in class, keep it relevant so they say ‘ah, I understand why I am learning this, this is important,’ and keep it so that they all can learn together as opposed to ‘Well I’m only focusing on this group or this group and I’m leaving some of them behind because either it’s too easy or too hard.’ Another big challenge is, I would say, the discipline issue. There are some students that are here because they are forced to be here or many different reasons why they are here, but they don’t want to be here and they make it very clear to a teacher that this is not the place they want to be. That’s another challenge I, as a teacher, have to work with, trying to get those students engaged as well.

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