x
Breaking News
More () »

Lakewood teachers have open discussion about new school year

Bob Sedlak is retiring after this year. Kellie Martin is starting her first year. We got them together to chat about expectations for the new school year.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — We went to Lakewood High School a few days before the start of the new school year. While the classrooms and hallways were empty, they would soon fill up with faces of hope and promise.

We visited with two teachers: Bob Sedlak, a longtime math and engineering teacher entering his 26th and final year at LHS; and, Kellie Martin, who is embarking on a whole new career. Kellie made the switch from assisted living facilities. In her very first year as a teacher, she'll teach Medical Office Management for Westshore Career-Tech District at Lakewood High.

The new school year can be overwhelming for anyone, especially teachers. So, we sat down Bob and Kellie for an open conversation about teaching, their questions and concerns, and words of wisdom.

Kellie to Bob:

"Bob, what are some of the challenges that you faced over the years as a teacher?"

Bob:

"I think kids today and kids 30 years ago are pretty much the same. They all, you know, they all have certain insecurities. They want to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. They, you know, they want to be liked. They want to fit into a group. So that part hasn't changed."

Bob to Kellie:

"With you now going into your first year, what are some of the skills and attributes, in a positive sense, that you think you bring to the classroom?"

Kellie:

"I think that you have to be open minded; you have to be empathetic. You have to, you know, understand where the student is coming from, the type of background they have, things like that. I do think that always a sense of humor is great. Nobody wants to come to your class and have the teacher that doesn't make you laugh or smile."

Kellie to Bob: 

"What are some similarities and differences from when you started teaching until now?"

Bob:

"I find students today are more honest than they were 30 years ago. If I left a calculator on my desk 30 years ago, sometimes it wouldn't be there at the end of the day. I could leave two or three TI 38's or TI 83's on my desk. And the students are very honest."

Bob to Kellie:

"The state of education in this country lately, and I'm saying the last few years, is fraught with mass shootings, questions about guns in school or not in school. Obviously COVID. How do you deal with those outside influences?"

Kellie:

"It's always a concern. I feel like in the last few years it's become more of a concern. But I'm up for any challenge."

Kellie to Bob:

"If you could go back and tell your younger teacher self one thing, what would it be?"

Bob:

"I just can't speak enough to the value of reading. Reading gives you this ammunition to use in the classroom because you're ... you're so equipped. And if I can convince the students of Bobby Sedlak 30 years ago, I would convince them even more of the value of reading."

Bob to Kellie:

"What would be one particular goal that you might set for yourself that you want to accomplish by the end of this particular school year?"

Kellie:

"I think one goal outside of just having my students, you know, learn all of their curriculum goals is maybe to learn one goal from me, myself ... not just what I'm teaching. So if I can influence a student positively in one way, that would be a successful year for me."

A few days later, the veteran educator opened the doors on his final year. He says he hopes it's his best year yet.

And, the bright, young, determined new teacher will aim to do the same. When it comes to teaching, their experience levels don't matter. Both have the same goal: To open minds, teach the kids what really counts and to be the influence to their success.

Editor's Note: The following video is from a previous report.

MORE HEADLINES:

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out