Mr. Harris

Which describes your path to becoming a teacher most closely?

Lateral Entry/Certification Program

What did you major in in college and what college degrees do you have?

I majored in Accounting. I have Bachelor’s in Business Administration (B.B.A.)

Did you have other full-time jobs before you became a teacher? If so, what were they?

Yes, I was an Assistant Director of Finance and Accounting (Senior Accountant) and an Accounting Supervisor.

When in your life did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?

In May of 1998, after I had the opportunity to speak at my little brother's elementary school. Then again in August of 2000.

Did you complete student teaching before becoming a teacher? If so, describe that experience.

No I did not but I initially entered the teaching profession through UNCG’s Master’s in Elementary Education Program because I thought I wanted to teach elementary school. I did not have a student teaching experience but I did have the opportunity to ‘intern’ in a 2nd grade classroom. I was bored during my internship which led to me to purse middle and secondary education teaching opportunities.

What are the pros and cons of being certified in the method you used?

Pros:

1. It allows you to bring a fresh perspective into the profession. I was really fortunate to have the professional opportunities I had prior to teaching.

2. It can help meet the demands of hard to staff subject areas (math, science, special education, etc…)

Cons:

1. Lateral entry certification does not really you prepare you for the rigors of teaching.

2. You are sometimes not viewed as a ‘true’ teacher because your undergraduate work is not in education.

Would you recommend your path to becoming a teacher to others? Why or why not?

I would recommend my path to becoming a teacher to others because it can help with developing a greater respect for what it means to be an educator for those inside and outside the field of education.

My experience in the ‘world of work’ prior teaching was invaluable.

How many years of experience to you have in the classroom? Do you plan to remain a teacher or do you have other career aspirations?

I have 12 years of experience in the classroom. I plan to remain an educator but I am interested in a career in consulting and/or exploring other opportunities that can stimulate and challenge me mentally. I enjoy helping other develop and reach their goals. I believe there are some new professional challenges awaiting me to explore.