Meet Rebecca Rhodes: MTR 2012 Grad

Name: Rebecca Hope Sasscer Rhodes

MTR Graduation Year: 2012

Employed at: Kingsbury Middle School

Undergrad: Covenant College, 2008, Philosophy

Hometown: Acworth, Georgia

How long have you been teaching? 

First year

Why did you initially want to be a teacher? 

I love the idea of showing kids that they can explore and expand their hearts and minds through reading, writing, and exploring the world.

Did you have a particular teacher in your life that inspired you? 

My high school history and Bible teacher, Dr. Rachel Hedges

What was your first day in front of a classroom like? 

I loved it. Adrenaline rush. I loved teaching the definition of science through hand motions, and showing the kids what the routines and procedures would be, and just being able to demonstrate how I wanted to be a demanding teacher, but also empathetic, passionate, able to laugh at herself, and a lover of learning.

How has your approach changed over time? 

I am certainly settling into my personality as a teacher. In the future I certainly want to emphasize critical reading skills (learning to read and take notes from a textbook effectively), as well as student self-reflection and peer to peer interactions and development. I want to put the burden of responsibility to learn and succeed on the students, but for them not to see learning as a burden, but rather as a freeing and exhilarating opportunity, that may begin in the classroom, but can and should extend to all areas and facets of life.

What do you expect from your students? 

I expect them to create challenging, realistic, and specific goals for themselves, and then to push themselves to reach those goals. I expect them to think critically about what they read, about what I say, and about what other students and teachers say. I expect them to have to work hard in order to do well in my class, and for that experience to shape their hearts and minds toward a desire to work hard in order to develop into better daughters, sons, eventual fathers and mothers, as citizens, and as people. I expect them to hone their God-give image bearing-ness, even if/when they may not recognize that everything that they have is a gift and should be stewarded wisely and faithfully.

What makes an effective teacher? 

An effective teacher is a humble learner.

What makes a great teacher? 

A great teacher is a humble learner.

What advice would you give to a brand-new teacher? 

Be a humble learner. Do not try to be all things to all people. Have one or two focused and specific goals for yourself and for your classroom, go after that/those thing(s), gauge your progress, get honest/encouraging/helpful advice from someone that you really trust, and persevere. Do not let teaching be your life. Have a life. Be in a church. Invite friends over for dinner. Go backpacking. Realize that your identify is not wrapped up in your success or failure (or feeling of success, or feeling of failure) as a teacher. God loves you. You have been made worthy by Jesus. Steward your gifts well. Live in freedom and love that Jesus is King, and you are a piece in the beautiful kingdom He is creating.