Carolyn McKaskle

As interviewed by Sloane McKaskle, march 22, 2019

Carolyn McKaskle in her own words

I decided to become a teacher when I was 6 years-old in the first grade. I would finish my work early and when I would be finished, the teacher would let me go and help the other kids that were struggling. My first teaching job was in a suburb in San Jose, California. I received my degree from the University of Texas in Elementary Education or technically it's called Applied Learning and Development, and that was a 5-year course of study for a Bachelor's of Science degree.

The salary of a teacher has changed very little over time -- this is my 16th year of teaching and 12 of that has been in Texas. Occasionally there are very small raises, and sometimes after the raise is implemented it can be retracted.

There are several different ways teachers can get paid, and there is a movement right now to try to tie teacher pay to test scores of students, but you know when you're not in the classroom and you're sitting in a governmental agency, it sounds like it would make a lot of sense -- however all it does is really reinforce that the purpose of education is testing, not learning. Also, tying teacher's salary to test scores doesn't take into account special populations such as ELL -- which is English Language Learners -- behavior struggles, dyslexia struggle, special education.

Honestly, it feels like we're always doing assessments. Not informal assessment just by teacher observation, but there's a lot of assessment windows that open throughout the school year. in the beginning of the school year there are four assessment windows that Kindergarten teachers need to meet, in the middle of the year there are two assessment windows that need to be met, and then in the end of the year there are another three assessment windows that need to be met. And that doesn't include the report card assessment windows that need to be met four times a year to do the assessments to show progress for students.