This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Kearns, one of the new English teachers at Newfield.
I first asked Mrs. Kearns if she always wanted to be a teacher. She told me that even when she was younger, she was always drawn to teaching and it got to the point that she would awaken her four siblings early and make them play school. As she grew older, Mrs. Kearns thought about a couple other jobs, such as becoming a guidance counselor or a psychologist, but was ultimately drawn back to English, seeing the subject as an outlet for both helping students learn and acting as a guide for them to confide in. Mrs. Kearns discussed the colleges that she attended with me, stating that she went to both the University of Albany and eventually Stony Brook where she obtained her Master's degree.
Before Newfield, Mrs. Kearns worked for one year as a teacher in Selden Middle School, which in many ways was similar to Newfield for her, but also contained subtle differences. I also asked Mrs. Kearns about her view of teaching after experiencing her own classes, as well as Newfield as an environment. Mrs. Kearns told me that, while it was more difficult than students would believe, it also ends up becoming more rewarding, since the effect that is had on the students is felt by the teacher in a way that is hard to understand unless it is experienced firsthand. As a setting, Mrs. Kearns is really impressed with Newfield and takes pride in the fact that she can teach in school where "students as a whole are really accepting and appreciative of different cultures, religions, and demographics. It's nice for so many different kids with separate lifestyles to be able to come together. The climate is great."
After talking with Mrs. Kearns about her career, I began to ask about her hobbies and interests. Mrs. Kearns told me about some of the activities that she enjoys, such as taking care of her year-and-a-half old nephew, shopping at Target, spending time with her family, and reading books. Some of Mrs. Kearns’s favorite books consist of The Fault in Our Stars and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but she is also fond of classic literature such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. Lastly, I asked Mrs. Kearns about her personal motto, which she told me was “follow your arrow,” which is emphasized through a tattoo on her arm. “The things you think you want in life aren’t exactly what you need…Follow wherever your life is pointing,” she said.
At the end of the interview, Mrs. Kearns happily expressed that as a new teacher she is looking forward to meeting more students and having more experiences, and hoping to continue in that direction.