Kerrie Naylor

KERRIE NAYLOR:


My name’s Kerrie Naylor and I’m the staff assistant in the northeast area of Jordan School District.  I work at the administrative office.

My freshman year was at BYU and I recall taking an advanced American History class, which was not your typical ‘101’ American History.  And this---the professor that was teaching the course at the time had a way of presenting the information that---helped me see the purpose of education as a foundation for everything else that you’re going to do in your life.  At the time I already knew that I wanted to be a secondary teacher.  I wanted to teach middle school, junior high school and I knew I wanted to teach history.  But what I didn’t know is that I wanted to teach people, not a subject.  And I remember this particular professor standing up in front of the room and---and there were only like 30 of us in the class, and his---he was so involved in what he was teaching and at the same time I felt like I was the only person in the room.  And I thought, that’s the kind of history teacher that I want to be, I don’t want to just teach the history, I want to teach to each and every person in that room.

So when I went into education and actually became a sixth grade social studies, English and reading teacher, I realized that I was Professor Flanders in front of the classroom and that I wasn’t just teaching the way I wanted to teach, but I was teaching the way I was taught.  And the experiences that he gave me in that classroom, even though it was a freshman class and I was already a young adult, I---I was able to feel the relationship that he had with me, that I was having with my students.  Uh, it was---it was, uh, pretty---‘ah-hah’ moment in my life, being up in front of the students.  Sixth graders are way different than freshman, but---it became really obvious to me that---that the saying ‘the way you teach is the way you’re taught’---or, the way you were taught is the way you become a teacher.

A well-educated teacher comes to the profession understanding why he or she is going to be a teacher.  They---(mic noise) I don’t know that they have to be ‘born’ to be a teacher, but they have to know the purpose of education and why we are in this profession.  And on that they have to be a p---true professional.  By being a true professional means they incorporate an expertise about education that the run of the mill person who’s been through school doesn’t have.  Uh---of---I’ve given some thought to this and it seems like the problem in it---one of the problems that we face in education is that everybody’s been to school, so everybody knows how to be a teacher.  I don’t agree with that.  I think that you can teach skills and knowledge, but you also have to find the person that actually is there to teach.   That they understand being a professal---pro---professional in their education profession means they have that feeling about why they’re there.  A well-educated teacher then has a background in---a knowl---a general knowledge of core subjects.  So that they could sit down at a dinner table and converse with people.  They could talk with their family on a variety of subjects.  They can talk with kids on a variety of subjects.  They also have an expertise in their subject area that makes them one step above what everyone else knows in that one area, but beyond that I think that a well-educated teacher believes in what he or she is doing and understand the values that are---are---that are tied to why we are teaching.  In addition to that they have to know how to teach and the process of gaining knowledge and how to be a critical thinker and think about and teach people how to want to be critical thinkers.  That’s what I look for.

I’d probably start out by saying that getting a gen---getting your general education requirements---it’s not just jumping through hoops.  It’s actually laying the foundation for you to know how knowledge inter-relates and how---how all of this makes sense to you as you’re---putting together more knowledge.  That if you don’t have a foundation on the general---general things about art, um, that you can’t appro---it---if you can’t appreciate good music and how the mus---the---uh, musicians from our past have influenced the way we are now, um, that you’re probably not going to understand how all of the knowledge inter-relates and builds on---step by step to get you to where you’re going.  I’d say to my daughter, this is the best time of you life.  This is the time when you really should be enjoying and soaking in all these different things, even though you may know what you want to be and what subject you want to teach, you really are teaching people about life.  And get your---um---enjoy it.

Absolutely not, it’s only the beginning.  A teacher is not well educated at the end of a bachelors program---but---but a teacher is ready to go out into the teaching profession and be part of---the teaching world.  Uh, it’s---I think it’s our obligation, as we’re training young people to be teachers, to teach them the difference between professional socialization and teaching what it’s like to part of the profession.  Socialize them into the profession as well as---once they get out into the profession what the organizational socialization experience will be and then they have to be part of that---but---but a teacher is ready to go out into the teaching profession and be part of---the teaching world.  Uh, it’s---I think it’s our obligation, as we’re training young people to be teachers, to teach them the difference between professional socialization and teaching what it’s like to part of the profession.  Socialize them into the profession as well as---once they get out into the profession what the organizational socialization experience will be and then they have to be part of that organizational socialization experience to actually---become well educated.  It’s really just the first step into making difference in the---ya---lives of young people.

I know you’ll edit this but---I think what---I think what I want to way about this---they---they come---yea---a young person, 23-24 years old, comes into the teaching profession, ‘yes, I’m well educated, I have a bank of knowledge that I want to share, that I’m excited to share.’  But until they get in there and step into that organization and feel being a teacher---y---y---it’s just absolutely the---the---the next step h---that has to be taken.  Um--- (interrupts for further prompting)

It’s---it---it’s---it’s the first step and then you stand in front of the room and you think, ‘I know what I’m teaching,’ but it’s the process of teaching that all of a sudden you say, ‘wow, there’s more to this than I really anticipated.  There---there is---these are---these are people that I’m teaching and I’m making the connection between what I teach with how I teach.  And the how I teach becomes really the stepping pl---stone into what the whole profession is about.’  For me, personally, it was---it was realizing that I was touching the lives of each person in my class---I was teaching that one person, individually.  Uh, I---I’ll tell you what a young person said to me once, I’m---I---I ended up teaching junior high but then teaching high school also.  And when I was leaving the profession for a while to go off and get a higher degree, he said to me, and he was really a cranky kid and he came in and he threw his yearbook down on his---on the table and he said, ‘Mrs. Naylor, teach kids, you love it.’  And that said it all to me.  I still went off to get my higher degree, but I never gave up the reason the reason I went into education, to teach kids, you love it, and I did.

Um---I---it---it’s the attitude that comes across in---in the interview and in interacting in the hallway as you walk around and show them the building.  You show the young person a building and you’re walking down the hall and they say, ‘oh, this is fantastic.’  It’s the---it’s---it’s that attitude of---of hope, an attitude of---of wanting to be part of this whole school community and seeing the bigger picture about how all of it relates together.  Um---the---I---I often wait for them to say to me, the young person to say to me, um, ‘oh, can I take a tour of your building?’ because that---that’s when they really have the disposition or the feeling that they’re---they are going to part of a greater school community than just their classroom.

You, uh, a well educated teacher who understands the concept of social justice, or the moral dimensions of teaching, sees the---the big picture in terms of how a contribution that you can make as an individual has an impact on the whole of society.  Uh---for me it has to do with realizing that every student is an individual and every student deserves---the same opportunity to be successful, in the classroom, in the school, and in society and the community at large.   So being a---a teacher that is---is, uh---centered on social justice is a teacher that realizes that there’s more to---who---I am.  There’s more to who I am than just---st---I have something to say now listen to me.  There’s---there’s a---a---a reciprocity of influence, a relationship that’s developed, and, um---and a feeling that you’re making a difference.

I believe that a---a well educated---teacher is a reflection of---her classroom.  And by being a reflection of her classroom sh---she is, and I’m going to use she because I’m speaking of myself, she is well grounded in who she is---and knows that as a role model to the young people---she must provide an access to education for a---that’s equal for all students and a feeling that---that this is---this is her responsibility.  This is my responsibility to be a teacher in front of---in front of these kids that provides an equal education for all, quality education for all in a caring, nurturing way, but at the same time speaks for who I am as a reflection of who they are.  That’s what I believe.