Interview With a Teacher #6: Ms. C

Thank you, Ms. C, for participating in my interviews! It’s interesting to hear from someone who came to teaching from a different career path. I’m sorry you’re having such a rough year, but I appreciate all the time you’ve given to kids when you could have remained in a higher paying job. My heart is with you! ❤️

* * *

A Note About These Interviews:

I taught seventh grade for almost twenty years and was constantly surprised at the difference between what friends, family, parents, neighbors, and community members imagined my job was like and what it actually was like. The few times I had the privilege of inviting a friend or family member to visit my classroom, they always left wide-eyed and exhausted. The purpose of these interviews is to allow the world a glimpse inside the lives of current educators. Now that I’ve quit teaching, I want to do what I can to support all the teachers still fighting the good fight, and I don’t want to forget what life is like inside a school.

All questions are optional. The teacher may write as much or as little as they want. If they don’t feel comfortable answering a question for any reason, they’re allowed to leave it blank or say “I prefer not to answer.” For confidentiality and privacy purposes, the name of the teacher’s school will not be published, and they may choose how they refer to themselves. (Full name, initials only, or even simply “Teacher.”) Participants have been asked to refrain from using student names or to change names. When describing student or parent interactions, they may be vague or change slight details to protect anonymity as long as the message/tone of the encounter stays the same.

* * *

Interview With Ms. C:

A tombstone from my teacher cemetery last Halloween. It seemed appropriate for this post.
  1. In no more than three words, describe how you feel right now.

    exhausted, angry, sad

  2. What is today’s date?

    October 7, 2022

  3. How old are you?


  4. How many years (total) have you been teaching?


  5. Have you ever taken a break from teaching? If so, why and for how long?


  6. What is your current salary?


  7. Is there anything you would like to share about your personal life or family situation?

    Teaching is my 2nd career. When I started teaching, my take home pay was 1/4 what I made previously. I chose to move to teaching. It wasn’t about the money.

  8. In what city and state do you teach?

    Austin, TX

  9. What grade(s) and subject(s) do you currently teach?

    7th grade math

  10. How many years have you been in your current teaching position?


  11. How many conference periods do you have per day?


  12. How many students do you teach total?


  13. If you teach multiple classes, how many students are in your smallest class and your largest class?

    25 and 30

  14. On average, how many meetings do you have per week?


  15. What other responsibilities do you have at school besides teaching your own classes? (For example: bus duty, cafeteria monitor, after school club, chaperone, committee member, team leader, coach, etc.)

    morning duty, kid day meetings

  16. Are you compensated for any of your extra duties?


  17. When was the last time you took a day off?

    last school year

  18. Describe the reason for your absence and the process you went through in order to take the day off.

    submit for a sub and in the time system for a day off, write sub plans, check multiple times during the day with the sub

  19. Describe a positive interaction you’ve had with a student this year.

    so many, students are great…telling them that they are doing a great job is always fun

  20. Describe a challenging interaction you’ve had with a student this year.

    talking to a student who is failing because of missing work and that student doesn’t care

  21. Describe a positive interaction you’ve had with a parent this year.

    parents that appreciate what we do

  22. Describe a challenging interaction you’ve had with a parent this year.

    parent that was upset that another teacher recommended a student move to accelerated [different level of math] because the teacher didn’t like the student. The student couldn’t keep up. I got blamed for not “checking” the student should be in accelerated. I don’t have that option.

  23. Describe a positive interaction you’ve had with a coworker or administrator this year.

    Just making me laugh helps

  24. Describe a challenging interaction you’ve had with a coworker or administrator this year.

    When they dump all the resource [below grade level] kids into my class and expect me to be able to teach 30 students who range from resource to advanced.

  25. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing that’s happened at school this year?

    The student who told me everyone hates my haircut, but he likes it.

  26. What time did you arrive at work today?

    7:00 A.M.

  27. What time did you leave work today? If you are still at work, what time did you leave yesterday?

    4:45 P.M.

  28. Describe your lunch today. (Length, food, location, what you did while eating, etc.)

    30 minutes. I ate in my room. I entered late grades.

  29. Describe one success you experienced today.

    My classes were more focused than usual.

  30. Describe one challenge you experienced today.

    Getting students to quiet down and listen

  31. What time did you complete this survey?

    7:00 P.M.

  32. How satisfied are you with your current job? (1 = not at all satisfied, 5 = very satisfied)


  33. As of right now, do you plan to continue teaching next year?


  34. What’s the best thing about being a teacher?

    the kids….they give me hope for the future and make me laugh

    Teacher, I want to tell you something, and I want you to listen. You are amazing. You are creative and smart and hardworking and beautiful. You are valued by those who are paying attention, and you deserve so much more than you receive from society. You are a superhero, and the world is a better place with you in it. Thank you for everything you do for your students, your community, and your fellow teachers. I appreciate you. Now, close your eyes and take three long, deep breaths, then open your eyes.

  35. In no more than three words, describe how you feel right now.

    exhausted, unappreciated, angry

* * *

If you are a current teacher and would like to be interviewed for my blog or if you know a current teacher I should interview, contact me!

Published by Carie Juettner

Carie Juettner is a former middle school teacher and the author of The Ghostly Tales of New England, The Ghostly Tales of Austin, and The Ghostly Tales of Burlington in the Spooky America series by Arcadia Publishing. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as The Twin Bill, Nature Futures, and Daily Science Fiction. Carie lives in Richardson, Texas, with her husband and pets. She was born on Halloween, and her favorite color is purple.

One thought on “Interview With a Teacher #6: Ms. C

  1. My heart breaks for Ms. C. It is a shame that she went into teaching specifically to make a difference and for the desire to teach and she now feels the way she does. ❤ All the gratitude to her.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: