Teacher Spotlight: Jessica Templeton
This post is in partnership with University of Phoenix
Jessica Templeton grew up in Denver, Colorado and has returned to her roots as a third grade teacher at Gust Elementary School. She's been teaching third grade for 12 years and believes all students are able to succeed.
GOOD: How do you see the classroom atmosphere changing in the next five to ten years? How can teachers adapt to these changes?
JESSICA TEMPLETON: With information becoming more and more easily accessible, it seems that the classroom is becoming less about accessing information and more about applying information in new situations. Students need to be able to work together to collaboratively problem-solve and work through challenging scenarios.
GOOD: What's the best advice you can give to first year teachers who are planning to stay in education for the long term?
TEMPLETON: While I truly believe that teaching is the most rewarding job in the world, it can also be very difficult, exhausting, and disheartening at times. The best advice I can give to first year teachers who are planning to stay in education: love what you do, maintain your focus on the positive changes you are making, and always, ALWAYS keep your sense of humor.
GOOD: With technology changing so quickly, what are the ways teachers can stay innovative in the classroom?
TEMPLETON: Teachers need to always be proactively searching for ways to innovate and apply new technologies in their classrooms. And definitely, apply for as many grants as you can!
GOOD: Where should schools be looking to find teachers of tomorrow?
TEMPLETON: I personally took a traditional undergraduate route to become a teacher. Currently, I am a mentor teacher for teaching candidates in an alternative licensure program.
I truly believe that both routes create amazing teachers and think it is less important for schools to focus on where to find teachers and more important to focus on what they are looking for in new teachers. Teachers of tomorrow need to be passionate, innovative, and always willing to reflect on, modify, and improve their teaching practice.
GOOD: How can your peers or your school help support innovation in the classroom?
TEMPLETON: I feel incredibly fortunate to work with people who inspire me each and every day to become a better teacher. I think that if colleagues challenge, support, and work together in a culture of mutual respect, that environment, in and of itself, will support innovation in the classroom.
GOOD: What do you think is an essential quality to a successful teacher and how can we help nurture this quality?
TEMPLETON: I think the most important quality of a successful teacher is the ability to continuously reflect on and improve your teaching in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the students you serve.
GOOD: We've focused on technological or pedagogical ways that teachers innovate, but what is it about teacher-child relationships that'll endure well into the 21st century?
TEMPLETON: As mentioned before, I think the ability and desire to always reflect on and improve your teaching practice is the most valuable quality any teacher can possess. We live in a dynamic world that seems to be changing at an ever-increasing rate and we need to be flexible, willing, and ready to change and grow along with it in order to best prepare our students for the world in which they will live.
To read more thoughts from classroom teachers about the future of education, read the GOOD Guide to Finding the Teachers of Tomorrow.
This Yoga-in-Schools Program Just Raised $31,000 in Crowdfunding R.I.S.E. introduces Bay Area teens to yoga, to help with self-image, grades, and other adolescent nightmares.
A New Olympics Just For Nomads Playing polo with a 100-pound goat carcass to save nomadic culture and build national pride in Kyrgyzstan.
New Detroit Program Trades Houses for Literary Excellence Write a House names Brooklyn poet Casey Rocheteau as first recipient of free home in Detroit
A Chance in Hell Yaks, America, and The Apocalypse Up against an $88 billion beef industry, it takes a leap of faith to raise yak in the United States.
Specialty Coffee Retailers Try to Prove They're Good to the Last Drop Searching for the perfect cup of sustainable and ethically produced joe. #NationalCoffeeDay
Metalhead Ballerinas Rock the U.K. Brutal Ballet slayed U.K. audiences last week with the debut of original choreography set to a metal cover of the Game of Thrones themesong.
You’re Now a Two-Minute Video Away from Getting into College
Goucher College will accept video applications in lieu of the traditional essays and test scores.
3 Epic Racial Profiling Blunders from History
Racial profiling not only harms innocent people of color, it can cause law enforcement to lose crucial time in pursuing the true criminals.
10 Overlooked Issues That People are Protesting This Week at the U.N.
The U.N. General Assembly is a magnet for protest from every race, color, and creed. Meet some of the people behind the picketing.
Why We Still Need the Nation State Overshadowed by international organizations, global commerce, and even individual cities, the nation state still has a vital role to play.
Flip-Flopping on Fats Health and sustainability concerns drive the two largest donut chains to change their policies on palm oil.
The Challenge of Branding a Life-Threatening Disease Can mitochondrial disease go mainstream? There are promising developments for mitochondrial disease in genetics and cellular therapies—now, if only it could get some buzz.