Paul: I am a 3rd grade teacher. I teach language arts, science, social studies, and personal and social success.
Unbound: At what type of school do you work?
Paul: I teach at The de Paul School in Louisville, KY. The de Paul School is an independent private school that teaches students with learning differences.
Unbound: Tell me about the demographics of your students.
Paul: We teach K-8. All students have average to above average intelligence, but haven’t found success in traditional school models. They may have one or more learning difference, including dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing, working memory deficits, non-verbal learning differences, and dyscalculia.
Unbound: Why do you work in education?
I believe compassion, empathy, and kindness to others should not only be modeled by teachers but be explicitly taught to children in any school system.
Paul: I work in this particular field of education because I feel called to do so. These students are bright and intelligent; they just learn differently than most students. They have not had success with traditional school models. I want them to feel successful.
Unbound: Do your worldview and beliefs about religion and ethics affect your work in the school system?
Paul: Absolutely. The de Paul School is a non-sectarian school, so I do not express my religious beliefs with my students. However, I believe compassion, empathy, and kindness to others should not only be modeled by teachers but be explicitly taught to children in any school system.
Unbound: What is the most challenging part of your work?
Paul: Working with this population of students. It is challenging to get half the class interested and excited about a lesson while keeping the other half from getting too worked up. It takes a lot of effort to be on top of things, but the reward of seeing a student finally “get it” makes it worthwhile.
Unbound: What is the best part?
Paul: The best part is seeing the kids grow as students and as people. I also enjoy providing the relief that parents enjoy once their child starts. Hearing feedback from parents who finally have a child who is eager to do their homework or get to school early is very rewarding.
Unbound: Based on your experience, if you could magically enact one large-scale change for education in general, what would it be? Why?
Paul: It would be to figure out a way for all schools to be able to teach to the different learning styles of all students.