Do you want to make a difference in the world? Are you good at planning? Then maybe you can be a great teacher! Join us as our host Emily Calandrelli chats with Alexia Sberna, an Aussie primary school teacher, host of the Teacher Talk podcast, about what you need to learn to become a teacher.
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Boy: When I grow up, I want to be a teacher.
Emily: What does being a teacher mean to you?
Boy: They help us learn to write. Sometimes, they show us where we make mistakes, so we can get better. When I grow up--
Speaker 1: Want to be a pilot,
With a uniform white,
Always flying high up in the sky.
Boy: When I grow up--
Speaker 1: Want to be a firefighter,
Putting out flames,
Or maybe a police officer,
Keeping people safe.
It's so fun to learn what you can be,
Growing up, growing up.
Boy: When I grow up--
Speaker 1: Want to be an artist,
That paints portraits,
Want to be a scientist,
That does experiments,
Oh, so many people you will meet,
Growing up, growing up.
Boy: Growing up.
Speaker 1: Growing up, growing up, growing up.
Emily: Hi, and welcome to Growing Up with Emily, a Lingokids Podcast helping amazing kids to grow up and be even more amazing. Emily-- It's me. As a kid, I was always asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I wanted to be so many things. Does that sound familiar? Then I'm glad you are listening because you are going to find out what it takes to be anything you want. Are you ready to make school your superpower?
Speaker 1: Growing up, growing up, growing up.
Emily: Last episode, we met Dr. Fradin, a pediatrician who shared what it's like to help children who are sick or hurt. Today, we're checking out a grown-up job that helps millions, maybe even billions, of kids.
We're going to meet a terrific teacher. Do you want to make a difference in the world? If you've ever dreamed of being a teacher, you won't want to miss this episode. Today, we're going to meet a real elementary school teacher from Australia. In her country, they call it primary school. Before we meet her, let's talk a little about why we have schools, in the first place.
Speaker 1: Growing up, growing up.
Emily: Imagine life without school.
Boy: Oh, yay.
Emily: Sure, it sounds great, but you'd miss out on some important stuff.
Emily: Think about it. School is the perfect place to discover what you like and what you're good at. Then there's the social part, spending time with other kids and adults.
It's important to practice talking and doing things with different people. Classrooms teach cooperation. Do you know what cooperation means?
Children: If we all don't row, the boat won't go.
Emily: That's right. Cooperation means working together to get things done. School is about trying new things and facing challenges.
Boy: Ugh. You mean schoolwork and homework?
Emily: Yes. Learning takes effort. Did you know that over 150 million children around the world don't get to go to school?
Boy: 150 million? That sounds like a lot.
Emily: It's a lot of a lot. Imagine if half the people in the entire United States were children. That's how many we're talking about.
Boy: Whoa, they just stay at home and play all day?
Emily: Oh, no, sir. Most are forced to work hard jobs with no fun, no recess, and some don't even get paid.
Boy: What? That's terrible.
Emily: In some places, only boys are allowed to learn. Girls are not.
Boy: That's unfair.
Emily: Thankfully, there are brave people who fight for equal rights, like Nelson Mandela, the first president of South Africa. He talked about the importance of education.
Boy: What did he say?
Emily: He said, "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."
Boy: Nobody can steal it from you. It's your superpower. If I learn something new every day, I will be super smart.
Emily: That's a great idea. Hey, why did the teacher wear sunglasses in her classroom?
Boy: I don't know. Why?
Emily: Because his students were so bright. [laughs] Get it? Bright, smart?
Yes. School helps you get smart and also helps with creativity, physical fitness, and getting along with others. It helps you grow in so many ways.
Speaker 2: Come on.
Emily: Oh, look. The school buses are dropping the kids off.
Boy: Why are the kids wearing uniforms?
Emily: In Australia, almost all schools require a uniform. Let's go inside.
Boy: Aww, look at that huge poster. It says, "We love our teachers."
Emily: That's so nice. Elementary or primary teachers work really hard. They prepare lessons for reading, writing, math, social studies, and possibly, science, computer skills, music, art, or physical education. Teachers are really dedicated. Many pay for supplies and treats out of their own pocket. Teachers don't just work at school, they're busy before and after school, preparing activities, cleaning up, grading work, meeting parents, and helping kids who need a little extra support. Most work on weekends and holidays, too.
Boy: Teachers have more homework than we do.
Emily: Yes. Speaking of homework, why did the kids eat their homework?
Boy: Because they were hungry?
Emily: Because the teacher told them it would be a piece of cake. Get it? Piece of cake? Easy? Ha.
Here's the classroom. Our guest not only teaches at the primary school in Australia, she also shares her teaching tips with educators all over the globe through her social media channel. Check her out on my phone.
Alexia: This is a day in the life of an Aussie primary teacher, first day of school edition. I started the day with putting up some clear-up morning instructions for my new students.
Emily: Are you ready to meet a real teacher who's also a star outside the classroom?
Boy 2: I am kind of nervous.
Boy: This always helps me-- Teacher, teacher, bo, beacher, banana, fana, fo, feacher, fe, fi, mo, meacher. Teacher. Try it.
Boy 2: Teacher, teacher, bo, beacher, banana, fana, fo, feacher, fe, fi, mo, meacher. Teacher.
It worked. I feel better.
Emily: Hi there, Alexia. I'm with Lingokids and we want to find out what it takes to be a real teacher. Can we ask some questions?
Emily: Great. First off, what are three things all teachers need?
Alexia: I would say the first thing would be communication skills, although communicating doesn't mean just talking. We can communicate through actions, like pointing. If I'm smiling, I'm happy. If I'm frowning, I'm probably not very happy. It's really important for teachers to be kind and caring, to make sure that their students feel safe and supported at school. The last thing is organization skills. As a teacher, you need to plan and prepare all of your supplies for your lessons.
Emily: I always say-- Fail to plan, plan to fail. Maybe you can give us some tips at the end, on how our listeners can start learning some of this. We also received some excellent questions from our Lingokids listeners.
Boy: Do you ever make mistakes in front of your class?
Alexia: Yes, I do make mistakes sometimes. I actually have my students notice my mistakes before I do, sometimes. This is a really good chance for me to remind my students that it's actually okay to make mistakes, even as an adult. This is a really great way for us to learn and grow.
Boy: Alexia, what's your favorite thing to teach?
Alexia: My favorite thing to teach, this is a pretty tricky question. I'm going to have to say Maths, which is quite funny because when I was a student, I didn't really enjoy Maths. I found it really, really hard. I guess now, as a teacher, I enjoy helping students who felt like me when I was their age.
Boy: How do you get kids' attention when they aren't listening?
Alexia: That does happen quite often. I usually do something called an attention grabber. Ten, ten, ten. I said ten, ten, ten-- This is when I say a phrase, then my students have a certain response for that phrase. Sometimes, they even do an action. For example, sometimes I say hands on top, then my students will look at me, put their hands on top of their heads and say, "Everybody stop." That's when I have all of my students' attention.
Boy: Alexia, what do you like best about being a teacher?
Alexia: My favorite part about my job is just working with kids. Sometimes, I even act like a kid when I'm with my students. We can have lots of fun in the classroom and I love helping them feel confident in themselves.
Boy: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a teacher?
Alexia: To be honest, I didn't always want to be a teacher. I didn't realize this until I was about 20 years old. My mom, although, always told me that I should become a teacher. When I finished school, I went to university. I studied something different to teaching. I didn't like that. Then I started teaching and I fell in love with it. I guess I should have listened to my mom the first time. [chuckles]
Emily: Wow. What's the hardest thing about being a teacher?
Alexia: I would say the hardest thing about being a teacher is all the work we do outside of the classroom when we're not teaching our students. Things like planning what we are teaching, writing reports, marking students' work, responding to lots of emails, and even doing parent meetings. I don't think many people know how hard teachers work before or after school. Sometimes, they even do this work on the weekend and school holidays.
Emily: Thanks, Alexia, for sharing that with us.
What can kids do now, while they're still growing up, to become a primary teacher?
Alexia: Well, teachers are often lifelong learners. As I said earlier, I often make mistakes in front of my class. I would say-- Stay curious, by always asking questions and always looking for new things to learn.
Boy: Like asking WH questions? Who, what, where or when, and why? [chuckles] My mom says I always ask a lot of questions.
Emily: [chuckles] That's a useful skill. Alexia, is there anything else you can recommend to our young listeners?
Alexia: Yes. A tip, if you're wanting to become a teacher, is trying to teach a new thing to a younger brother, or sister, or even a friend. Try and think of ways to make it really clear and interesting.
Boy 2: Right. I could teach my best friend how to braid hair.
Boy: My little sister doesn't know how to tie her shoes yet. Maybe I can teach her how.
Alexia: When you teach someone, it's always really important to be patient because you'll soon discover that not everyone learns the same way you do. That's the tricky part. It takes a lot of practice and patience.
Boy: I'm up for the challenge.
Boy 2: Me too.
Emily: Alexia, you've taught us a lot today. Cheers.
Emily: Oh, yes. That's how Australians say thank you.
Boy 2: Cheers.
Emily: We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Growing Up podcast. Even if you never plan to be a teacher, it's great to show appreciation for the teachers in your life. What do you like about your teacher? Let them know. Tune in next time, when we meet a real coach.
Boy: To live a full, interactive learning adventure, check out our Lingokids App, with tons of games and activities for endless fun.
Speaker 1: It's so fun to learn what you can be,
Growing up, growing up.
Come and join us, come, everyone,
So we can learn while having lots of fun,
Because it's so fun to learn what you can be,
Yes, it's so fun to learn what you can be,
Growing up, growing up, growing up.
[00:14:13] [END OF AUDIO]