Mrs. Kasten and Mrs. Smith’s Teaching Journey


Two influential English teachers, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Kasten, reflect fondly upon their expedition to becoming teachers. For 15 years, Mrs. Smith has been teaching English, and for 7 years, Mrs. Kasten has been partaking in the same occupation. In conjunction, they give collective insight into what their jobs have been like and their overall teaching experiences.  

To start off, they recollect upon their decision in becoming a teacher. In a similar fashion, their deliberation to choose English above any other subject was heavily compelled by paramount people in their lives. 

Oftentimes, in her idle hours, Mrs. Smith would engage in freestyle writing. Unequivocally, her love of and passion for the subject, as a whole, were contributing factors in her selection of English education. 

At the outset, deriving from a young age, Mrs. Smith reminisces that she loved reading, and she said, “I have been writing ever since I was little. I, often, wrote short stories in my spare time. When I moved to high school, I had some very influential teachers who continued to develop my love for reading and writing. When it came time to pick a major, I knew that I wanted to major in English, and I loved the idea of teaching too.”

Partaking in literaturistic endeavors throughout the duration of her childhood helped pave the way to Mrs. Smith’s later undertaking of becoming an English teacher. Inspirationally, as Mrs. Smith was once inspired by her former English teachers, she, now, has become that influential teacher for her own students!   

Amid the deliberation on what career to choose, Mrs. Kasten made the eventual decision to become a teacher as the job accommodated her family; it was feasible to her aptitude, and the subject piqued her interest. 

Consecutively, Mrs. Kasten ponders that she “… knew that I wanted to help people in some way; I do not like any type of blood, so I thought that teaching was the best avenue to do that. I wanted a job that was very conducive for a family because, at the end of the day, the most important thing was being a mom. I, also, enjoyed a lot of my English classes in high school. It is a subject that is more personal than teaching other subjects. I like being able to help students achieve the grades they are capable of and teach them important skills and lessons that they can apply throughout their lives. I like, at the end of the year, when students first come in hating English and eventually say they hated it less or even liked it.” 

Mrs. Kasten, who once desired to make a difference in people’s lives, has now mentored and impacted hundreds of students over the years. 

Subsequently, Mrs. Kasten noted that she made the transition her  “… sophomore year of college. I switched my major from Chemistry to English education; I was 19 when I made the switch.” 

Gradually, with the passage of time, teaching became a facilitated acclimation for Mrs. Smith.

Notably, Mrs. Smith delineated that she is “…always learning; I love to revamp and redesign my lessons to engage my students.”   

In regards to personal favorites, Mrs. Smith pointed out that she  “… love[s] teaching narrative writing, especially at the beginning of the year, and I have many favorite short stories and novels. I feel like I frequently tell my students ‘I love this text’ because I have so many of them. When I taught American Lit, The Great Gatsby was one of my favorites. I like teaching any Shakespeare to play too because there are so many layers to the stories, like Macbeth.” 

In particular, a laborious task pertaining to Mrs. Kasten’s job that she has encountered is “…making students care if they think English or school, in general, is not useful. Sometimes, it is difficult to get students to work toward their full potential and make them realize they are capable of achieving more than they do.” 

Although Mrs. Kasten feels that making apathetic students is difficult, her lessons and overall teaching methods actively engaged and educated the vast majority of students. Evidently, she does a superlative job galvanizing students to attain high standards. She, also, responds to emails at all hours of the day, including late at night, weekends, etc. to help students! 

 Dissimilarly, each school year is divergent from the last. According to Mrs. Kasten, the curriculum is subject to change and ameliorates over time: “Each group of students is always different. The curriculum is always different to make it better each year.” 

Rather than anywhere else in the area, Mrs. Smith opted to teach in Poland as she “…live[s] in Poland, and I knew that the school was an excellent district; I am happy teaching here!”

Specifically, an aspect Mrs. Smith cherishes this year is “that we are able to have all the students in class, and we are able to do more collaborative activities than last year.”  

Furthermore, the paramount dynamic for Mrs. Smith to spectate was “watching student’s writing grow; it is very rewarding. Also, seeing students make real-world connections with texts, even the older classics.” 

Likewise, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Kasten underline the process leading up to becoming a teacher. 

On a final note, they paralleled what being a teacher constitutes based on their journeys. Some notes that they included were: Going to college, taking prerequisites, and getting field experiences. Both teachers noted that they  saw more education courses toward the end; it leads toward student teaching, which takes place the last semester. There is always a reflection by the state. Both reflected that as college students, there is a course sheet at the beginning to plan one’s schedule. There are tutoring jobs, study meetings, volunteering, leadership clubs, etc. that are great to join to show education majors are invested!” 

All in all, Mrs. Kasten and Mrs. Smith are fulfilled with their career decision and feel teaching is an integral part of their lives. 

Thank you both for everything you do and for being the best teachers! You guys do a great job and inspire students, including me, to want to work harder each and every day!  : )