Angela M. Syverson
By Staff Reports
Friday, May 01, 2009
Sperry High School
Ninth-grade physical science, 11th- or 12-grade anatomy/physiology, yearbook
1. What do you like best about teaching and why?
The students are the best part of teaching. Each class is different and each student has a set of unique characteristics that make teaching fun. My students and I have fun in the classroom along with learning new ideas and concepts.
2. What do you like least about teaching and why?
If I had to choose a least favorite part of teaching, it is lack of time. We seem to never have enough time to do everything that we would like to do in class.
3. Do you have any particularly humorous or fond memories of a particular student you could share?
There are many memories of students and the humorous things that have happened in my classroom. If I was to choose one this year it would be the time my physical science students knocked me over in class. They were working on calculations of forces in class and they wanted to borrow calculators. I didn’t have enough for everyone so I tried to make it as fair as possible. I said the first one to stand in front of me can get the calculator first. So, we counted and most of the class stormed at me at the front of the room. They actually came so fast that it knocked me over and I ended on top of the boxes of food that Key Club was gathering for the food pantry. The funniest part of this story was that the kids were afraid that I would be angry at them, but when I started laughing, they started laughing and I think we continued for 10 minutes. They were concerned that they hurt me but it was just funny that they knocked me over. I know that I will always remember the time my freshmen knocked me down to get calculators. I was proud that they were eager to learn!
4. If money were no object, what would be your dream project to do with your class(es)?
My dream project would be to have an outdoor learning center. This would be a place where we could keep animals such as an iguana, lizards, insects, etc. We would also be able to have plants and flowers that would encourage natural habitats so the students could observe the animals in person. I would also like to be able to dissect some of the larger animals such as sharks and cats for anatomy and zoology classes.
5. So often we hear examples of parents who are under-involved, or the so-called “helicopter parents,” who are over-involved in their children’s lives. Ideally, what should parents do to help one of your students?
My personal belief is that parents should be involved in their students’ education. They should have the opportunity to talk with teachers when there is a problem or concern with their student. My door is always open to any parent that has a concern. I encourage my parents to keep in touch with me through their student, e-mail or by phone. I have talked with many parents about homework assignments, concerns about school or just questions. My students’ have the ability to talk with me over the e-mail or by phone in the evenings. Some parents have taken this opportunity to talk with me if their child is struggling with their homework. This allows the student and parent to get answers to questions efficiently and effectively before they come back to class.
6. What’s the worst thing a student has ever done under your watch?
One of the worst things a student had done was eat Fire Cheetos during a break on state testing without getting something to drink. He had only a short amount of time to eat the chips, and when he came back into the room his mouth was on fire. We couldn’t let him out of room until the testing monitor was there and so his mouth was on fire and he was disturbing other students.
7. If you were in charge of how your school district spends its funds from the federal economic stimulus package, how would you spend the money?
The economic stimulus package should be spent on technology for each classroom. I would like to see updated computer labs that would allow us to teach additional computer classes. I would also like to have a Smart Board in every classroom and have classes on how to effectively incorporate this type of technology in our subject matter.
8. What would you say is your most effective classroom or behavior management technique?
My most effective technique is to build a relationship between my students and myself. I want them to see that I have a vested interest not only in their education but what they do outside the classroom. I can accomplish this by attending their band concerts, athletic events, school plays, etc. This allows me to have something to talk with them about, other than their homework, and they see that I am interested in them even if they are not the “A” student.
9. If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?
I don’t believe that I would choose another profession other than teaching, because for as far back as I can remember, teaching is what I wanted to do when I grew up. If I had to choose a profession other than teaching I would like to be a florist. I learned how to do corsages, arrangements, etc., during my student teaching, and I found that I like to work with flowers and people.