Ms. Cherry Marks
6th, SDC, Social Studies 8
How long have you been a teacher and what made you decide you wanted to start teaching?
I have been a teacher since 1974, which is 42 years, however I have taken some breaks by doing job shares. A job share is like what Mrs. Nicassio and Ms. Clarke do, when you split the days you teach with another teacher. I decided to become a teacher because my brother was always labeled as stupid and he sat in a corner. I did not want to see that happen to anyone else again. Originally I was a kindergarten teacher, but I started to teach middle school in order to try something new.
What is the best memory you have from being a teacher at GMS?
I love it when previous students of mine come back and visit me from high school and describe how much I helped them, how right I was about high school, and describe how well they are doing. I also love seeing kids go through that “aha” moment when you know something has finally clicked in their head and they understand.
What advice would you give to future teachers?
Always focus on the big picture, on the essential skills, however do not forget to step back and enjoy the ride. We can get so caught up in teaching that we can forget that we are here for the kids, to help them out.
If you had to start your career all over again, what if anything would you do differently?
If I had to start my career all over again, I’d like to go into curriculum and become a curriculum specialist. I love writing and researching and I’ve actually already have done a lot of work in curriculum as I’ve had to rewrite many lessons for my students that were too complex.
What has your experience as a teacher been like?
I have been a teacher long enough to realize everything repeats in one giant cycle. There are just new names to old programs, techniques, and ideas. The biggest change has to be in technology, with all this new technology students have been able to explore new avenues for learning and discovered new things to learn. It has also been able to level the playing field for the special ed students as they now have more opportunities to be equal to other students their age with programs that can read the text to the students and type out what they are saying without misspelling anthing and using correct grammer.
What will you miss the most about teaching and what are some things you will not miss?
I will miss the constant interaction with the kids and teachers as well as the constant challenge of learning new things. I will also miss having a routine and knowing exactly what I will be doing today. However I will not miss having to correct papers and constantly having to rewrite curriculum for my students in a way they are able to understand.
What are you planning to do after you retire?
I plan on traveling around the worl, I mean I just want to go everywhere, there is so much I want to see. I want to visit the New England coast, Australia, Japan, and take an extended cruise through Hawaii. I actually have a goal to say I have stepped foot on every single continent, even Antarctica. I can spend more time doing the things I love such as quilting, sewing, reading, swimming, and I can spend a lot of time with my children and grandchildren.
What are some things you wish more people would realize about teaching?
it is critical, important, vital that parents support their kids. I also wish more parents realized how important the role of PTA can be in a school with all the funding they do. My PTA at my son’s school was able to pay for an entire computer lab for example. The funds they raise can make a big difference in the school.