Susan Rickey Van Cleve, Sixth Grade

At Van Cleve, there is a certain Social Studies teacher who I has the pleasure of observing with. I asked her a few questions during my last day with her, and I compiled her responses here. The first question I asked was "What are the major parts of your job?"

"The major parts of the job are planning and presenting lessons to students."

What are the most important resources for you? "The most important resources for me are the other social studies teachers, both current and former."

What kinds of rules and regulations do you have to abide by?

"We have to follow guidelines and curriculum set for us by the state and national governments."

What are the important qualities that you have found in this field? "The important qualities that we need to be successful are patience, willingness to learn, being understanding, and being creative."

What interpersonal qualities are the most important in this career?

"The most important interpersonal qualities we need to have would be getting to know the kids, because if they see that you care about them, they will start to care about school."

What did you wish you knew before you started teaching? "Before I started teaching, I wish I had known exactly where I needed to be. I started out teaching first, second, and third grade, and not to say I didn't enjoy that, but when I came to the sixth grade I knew 'This is where I need to be.' And it's so great to see that people are getting that chance to experience all of the different grade levels before they lock in their choice."

What kind of certification did you have to get as a teacher?

"When I was certified, we had to take the PRAXIS test, which determined if we got our license or not. If we passed, we could get the license, if we didn't we would have to test again."

What is the most rewarding thing you have experienced as a teacher? "The most rewarding thing is when students come back and tell me that I made a difference, no matter how further down the road it may be. If a student I had years ago emails me or calls me to tell me that something I taught helped them later on in their education, then that is reward enough."

Is there anything you would change about your career?

"If I could change anything as a teacher? Less government involvement, less of the paperwork and jumping through hoops. More focus on the teaching."

What is the biggest problem you face as a teacher? "The biggest problem I face as a teacher? Students that refuse to work, no matter how much you push them. The challenge is trying to get them to work."


Created with images by jarmoluk - "apple education school" • Hans - "glasses read learn" • jarmoluk - "library book britannica" • jill111 - "stack of books vintage books book" • PactoVisual - "books library school" • Unsplash - "pencil crayon colored"

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