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Virginia Journal of Education

Ten Minutes With…Becky Weigle

Position:  4th grade Math and Science teacher
Local Assn:  Madison County Education Association
Years worked in education:  16

What is a typical school day like for you? 
When my students arrive, they share funny stories or talk about how their games went the previous evening. Then our day starts with either cursive or keyboarding instruction, followed by 30 minutes each of science and math. Later in the morning, I switch and teach my partner’s students math and science. My day is probably pretty typical compared to most elementary school teachers. I have lunch and recess duty, then the students head to art, music and physical education. I finish up the day with my homeroom students, who love to share riddles with us while they’re getting lined up to go to their bus.

What do you like about your job? 
Madison is a close-knit community, and our parents and administration are both very supportive. My co-workers are like my family and the fourth-grade team collaborates very well. I like learning about and using new technology in my classroom. Recently, I’ve started using Plickers and QR codes with my students, and I love their enthusiasm to learn new things.. 

What is hard about your job? 
Seeing the effects of poverty on my students is difficult. Some of them are thinking about what’s going on at home and are unable to focus on their classwork. Some have to live with relatives and are unable to get a good night’s rest. Sometimes a parent isn’t at home to help with homework because he or she is working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Unfortunately, all these situations weigh heavily on my 9- and 10-year-olds. It’s a lot for even an adult to handle!

What are some of the most fun and unusual things that have happened on the job?  I’m a bit of a prankster, and one year we hung mustaches all over the school.  Every day, a mustache would magically appear on a poster.  The students thought it was hilarious and tried to figure which teachers were the “Mustache Bandits.” They took markers and drew their own and/or cut them out of construction paper and wore them.

In October, we had a kickoff assembly for our One Book, One School program. We chose to read Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, so our Superintendent dressed as Willy Wonka and our Assistant Superintendent and Technology Specialist dressed as Oompa Loompas. Each student was handed a wrapped copy of the book (which looked like a chocolate “Waverly Bar”) and inside, some found a golden ticket. The ticket meant they were chosen to participate in various games, such as licking a candy wall or finding a piece of candy under a mountain of whipped cream. The Oompa Loompas passed out candy bars and launched confetti at the audience. Our students were mesmerized as the Superintendent read the book: Every kid’s nose was in the book following along. The kids loved the assembly and it was so exciting to see them motivated to read.  The culminating event was an outdoor showing of the movie.  

This year, we’ve had several special events, beginning with a kickball tournament amongst the teachers. Spectators were asked to bring non-perishable food, and donated approximately 500 cans. Next, teachers participated in the county’s Trick or Trunk event. Also, all students supported the “Color of the Day” in kindergarten classes and took part in the high school’s homecoming “fun” week.

Our school had an after-school student-teacher kickball game, which was well-attended and gave students a neat opportunity to see their teachers in a different light.

How has being an Association member been helpful to you? 
My UniServ Director has been very helpful and has provided excellent advice when needed, and the Association is a great source of current information on education issues.


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