top of page

So, You wanna be a teacher?

Updated: Oct 15, 2019


During this episode of the EduMagic Podcast, I sit down with Kathleen Trace. Listen in on our conversation and learn more about the importance of building a PLN before you leave college and to not give up on teaching and yourself. 💜

🔊 Listen until the end of the show to learn how you can win signed copies of EduMagic and Wanna Be Teacher - an Instagram challenge! 

Today we have the amazing Kathleen Trace. Kathleen and I connected last semester she was a virtual co-op for an amazing student, Mallory and they worked together creating artifacts with technology with purpose and authenticity. Before we get started into all of the amazing advice that you have for preservice teachers can you share with my listeners a little bit about your teaching story.

Kathleen's Teaching Story

Well I was one of those people who said I was never ever going to be a teacher because both of my parents were educators. My mom taught special education for 30 years and my dad was a school psychologist and I thought it for as long as I could and then I actually started substitute teaching when I was in college and I interned at all different kinds of places and I never felt more at home than when I was in a school. And I think if you like substitute teaching that tells you something. And so I actually did not get certified to teach when I was an undergraduate. I went and got my certification and my masters and I have never regretted it.

I double majored in undergrad in the areas of literature and cultural studies which basically meant English without the Shakespeare and poetry. I got to focus on what I really loved which was writing. And I was deciding as I was graduating college if I wanted to pursue the English or if I wanted to pursue psychology and I really did not enjoy the research aspects of a graduate degree in psychology or the kind of independent lonely nature of being a psychologist. Whereas the thought of being a teacher and having had that substitute teaching experience just made me believe that the schools were a place where I was going to feel energized and excited and my guy was really making a difference. So then I went to UVA School of Education to get my masters in secondary English education.

Favorite teaching moment from college

I had an absolutely amazing cooperating instructor when I was in my student teaching at Charlottesville high school in Charlottesville. Michael Irani and he's now principal but he was so interactive with the students. We actually did this activity he called agreed disagreed that I still do to this day where he would pose a statement on the board and then the students would either have to agree or disagree with that statement and they would move physically to the side of the room which was either agree or disagree.

Then they would have to give specific examples as to why they agreed or disagreed. They got so in-depth and so eloquent in what they were saying that I felt like these kids were learning about themselves and they were learning about life and they were learning about literature and they were learning about history. It was just one of those moments where you went home and you felt like this kid changed today and this is an amazing thing to be able to do so loudly and as teachers we get to see them on a daily weekly basis whether it's a whether it's a small change or a large change. It's one of the best perks of being a teacher. Feeling like you really helped somebody find something they were passionate about or help them learn something about themselves and you are very passionate about raising up that next generation of educators our future teachers.

What advice do you have regarding EduMagic that future teachers need to hear?

A PLN. I just honestly it's only been probably the past year maybe even less that I've really tapped into a PLN. The people beyond my school and the people that I actually interact with in my division and I met you through Twitter. I met Mallory through Twitter through you and it's just been such an amazing experience. Seeing this whole community out there that is just as passionate as I am and has all these ideas that they're willing to share.

I think one of the most dangerous things in teaching is teachers who curl up in their rooms and don't want to share and don't want to help other teachers engage their students in ways that are new and exciting.

People are on social media and it's been a really eye opening experience to me and I know you teach your students that because Mallory has been absolutely amazing and she's taught me so much and it's been a really cool experience.

Can you share a little bit about the virtual co-op experience that you did this semester?

So when Mallory Mallory emailed me several months ago and at first I was like I'm not even sure how we got connected. And she said OK well this is what we're doing and I've never done a virtual co-op before and it sounded really interesting. Then she started we we did a face time where we just chatted and she was just darling. Throughout the semester she said here's what we're learning about. I want to use this tool to make something for you to use in your classroom. It was so neat because I could give her the content and then she made like a I'm not even sure if I'm going to say it right because I'm not familiar with it I'm learning from her like tools such as Gynzy. Which was so cool and she made this she made a google form which we used for the newspaper to collect data. She made a review game for my newspaper kids and we're actually going to use next week.

I haven't even used everything that she's created for us but it's really been neat because I've been able to share with her my classroom experiences and then she's been able to share with me the technology that she's learning currently in her education program which didn't exist when I went through my education program 15 years ago.

It's a beautiful collaboration. They're able to bring the tech in and what's going on in the tech world. And you guys bring the pedagogy the experience the methodology and blended together. It's a beautiful virtual learning experience. It really is, I highly recommend it to people.

Back to your passion for a preservice teachers and raising up the next generation. What is one piece of advice that you have for those teacher educators out there listening today?