When I look back into my first years as a teacher, I often reflect on how lost and lonely I sometimes felt. Facing the responsibility of teaching a new class (or classes) was a huge undertaking and I will never forget how desperate I was for advice from more experienced teachers. My mom, aunts and cousins were my life savers. I often found myself asking them for advice and input.
Unfortunately, not all new teachers have access to constructive advice and criticism. That is why I decided to start a new post series featuring teachers from all walks and levels of experience. It is my hope that their advice, tips and tricks might be helpful to any new teacher that stumbles across my blog 😀
Please feel free to comment and or leave feedback. I’m sure my guests would love to read your own input!
Today’s Guest of Honor is Michelle Brosseau and she is the teacher behind “Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder” TeachersPayTeachers store and “Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder” blog. She can also be found on her Facebook page! Please visit all these locations and leave her some “love” 😉
Here are Michelles’s answers to my interview:
How long have you been a teacher? 5 years.
Why did you become a teacher? I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Tutoring throughout high school certainly helped to cement my love for helping others. I went through the concurrent program for my B.Ed. This means that I was doing my teaching courses and placement whilst completing my Honours degree. It was like having five years of Teachers College instead of one. I highly recommend it to anyone who *knows* they are going to be a teacher.
Which grades have you taught so far? 9-12
What subjects do you rather teach? Science, Physics, Math
What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher? I love seeing the light bulbs go off in the students’ heads and breaking down Science and Math into something easy and fun. There is too much “science is hard” and “I can’t do math” everywhere you look – especially in the media. I love seeing the pride students take after they accomplish something they thought they couldn’t. In particular when teaching something like Kirchhoff’s Laws in Physics. You’ve got this huge, complex problem that looks really daunting. After a bit of teaching the kids can handle it with no issues and they end up loving those problems the most!
Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student. Mrs. Marty, who is my former tech teacher and now my co-worker (I teach at my former high school). She was so supportive, especially in promoting women in trades and engineering. Though I didn’t pursue either she certainly provided me with the confidence that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. I like her philosophy on skills – you must be “confident and competent” in order to earn a 4+. She is very hard-working and kind, and it doesn’t hurt she has a wonderful British accent!
Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher. My school was an “Off and Away” zone for cell phones. We would confiscate phones during the school day. One day, I caught a boy texting and he had a message on his phone like “got to go, I’m in science class and she can se…” He should have known better 😉
What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.) Read, read, read! I got a lot out of Kathie Nunley’s “Differentiating the High School Classroom” book. If you’re in Ontario, utilize the OCT Library. I wish Pinterest was around when I started – it’s full of great ideas.
What does your ideal classroom look like? I can picture it: Groups of 4 in front facing a projector screen showing a great presentation or video. Behind there are counters for experiments. This classroom would have lots of room to display student work: on the cupboards, the bulletin boards and heck, if it wasn’t a fire violation stuff hanging from the ceilings. I’d love to mix the look of a senior lab with some elements of elementary classrooms: lots of books, shelves, caddies of art supplied for group work. Lots of windows and technology, but most importantly – AIR CONDITIONING!
The following are some photos of Michelle’s classroom. Click the photos for a more detailed view.
What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers? In Science Help I noticed students who were not in my class had the notes I made. Students in other classes were asking for my notes. Co-workers started asking to borrow my note packages, games, puzzles, foldables and graphic organizers. It was a natural progression.
From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why? I LOVE my Naming Compounds Spinner so very much! It has made such a big difference when students are learning how to name chemical compounds. The students become so much more independent and I don’t have to field any “do we use prefixes on ionic compounds” questions.
1. It spins and that’s fun.
2. If you print the top page in yellow, the spinner looks like PacMan!
Anything else about yourself that you would like us to know? Though I’ve been teaching mostly high school science the past five years, I love and miss math too! I used to train students from Grade 7 all the way up to University to get them ready for math competitions. I certainly miss that job, but TpT still allows me to make some fun math resources.
Thank you 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to also follow my blog and Facebook page and get to know more of my guests 😉