“In the moment they think they are being funny and clever” :an interview with a West teacher

Ronnie Simmons

Here at Greenbrier West we have many educators in our school, our teachers, principals, janitorial staff, cafeteria staff, and our officer staff. I talked to Mrs. Bowles to see how she feels about our educators and our school system and how it is run; and she also included some changes that she would like to see happen in the upcoming years at Greenbrier West. Mrs. Bowles is the Social Studies teacher at West, and from what I have heard all of her students that have her love her. Mrs. Bowles says that she is trying her best for students here at West, she tries to meet students where they are, and she is not trying to force her idea of education on them. More “fun things” is something she says that West may need to be more of, she states that we don’t have enough “fun things” she feels as if we had more “fun things” to do in a school day maybe the students would want to come more often then they do now. She says that the students’ perspective is that it’s not really in their best interest to come to school, and they think their teachers are out to get them, she states that she is close with her students not so much as a friend but a person to talk to if a student needs to reach out, she is accepting of their differences and keeps her options open and tries to be conscious with that and tries to be understanding. “In the moment they think they are being funny and clever,” she keeps that on her desk to remind herself of when a student is being outspoken or coming across “ smart” and she tries to remember they are trying to be funny and clever in that moment; that’s how it manifests. She seems to be very upfront with her opinions about her students feelings and how their education may be. Some students that try to motivate other students may get bullied, she states that if she was a student to help motivate would be to include friends and try to bring everyone together in the work and learn the skills and look towards the future for a promise scholar and such. She sees her role not so much as a “force feeder;” she says learning is not dependent on the teacher, it is on the student. She says that her job is to make the conditions right so that the students’ learning can take place, if i don’t make those conditions right then the students won’t learn and they don’t want to come to my class. From my perspective in her classroom she tries to make learning fun and also educational to a certain extent of which is appropriate for her classroom.