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Interview with Nikki Brittain

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  • Nikki Brittain Transcript: Nikki Brittain Interviewee: NB Nikki Brittain Interviewer: LA Laura Abernathy Interview Date: Oct. 12, 2018 Location: Hildebran, NC Length: 35 m;nutes Start of Interview Laura Abernathy: Are you aware that you are being recorded for public purposes? Nikki Brittain: Yes ma'am. LA: First I'd like to thank you for taking time with me and participating in this interview. So, we'll go ahead and start. What is your name? NB: Nikki Brittain. LA: And where are you from? NB: Hickory, North Carolina. LA: Ok, when were you born? NB: 8/17/1976. LA: Ok, how long have you been a teacher? 1 Nikki Brittain NB: Well, I have an unusual teaching history. I taught, I graduated in '98--1998. And then I taught for four years in public school, decided to stay home. I had two children, decided to stay home for ten years and then I went back io public school as a teacher assistant. Then I taught teacher's assistant for three years, taught for two years. And then this year I made the transition into a private Christian school. So this is my first year at a private Christian school. LA: Ok, what subject did you teach? NB: Well, I'm elementary so I have taught all subjects from Language Arts to Math to Science, Social Studies, Phonics .. every subject in the elementary curriculum. LA: What gave you the desire to educate young children? To become a teacher? NB: Since, ever since I've been a child I've always wanted to teach. I would teach my stuffed animals, my animals, my cats, dogs. I would make them sit and listen. It's just (inaudible) it's just a feel that God put that desire in me to help students understand things better and I have always had a love for children and just that joy I see when-- that you see in their face when they learn new things. So that's, that's truly my desire is to create the joy that children want--they want to learn more. LA: What made you want to become an elementary school teacher? Compared to middle school or high school? NB: Um (pause) well as a student, in my own schooling career, the elementary school teachers seemed to have the most impact on what I remember as an education. Those fundamentals those basics, that builds on everything else. I also like the age of the students, they're a lot of fun. It's usually still in the elementary level they still have the joy and the excitement about education. Where you get to middle and high school, a lot of times· they don't 2 Nikki Brittain want to be there. They want to--they have other things they have on their plate where with elementary, they really do love school still. (in hushed tone) most of the time. LA: Yeah, sounds like a lot of fun. NB: Mhm. LA: If you could change one thing about the educational system in North Carolina, what would it be? NB: (confidently) I would say the testing. The standardized testing that is required every . few weeks. And I know it's usually based on the county, some counties are different, but the county that I taught in, it was every few weeks they were making them sit and test and whether they could read the test or not they had to. And so when I taught third grade last year, it was A LOT of standardized testing and a lot of my students were very upset because they couldn't even read the test to take the test and you can't read aloud to them .. Because a lot of it's based on, even on a third grade level, a lot of the testing was written in a fourth or fifth grade level. So it was very hard for them to even understand why they needed to take that test. And as a teacher it's hard for you to understand, to see your kids frustrated when they can't read and you're both trying to do your best but it's never enough for the state .. LA: So are you talking about the end of grade testing or just... NB: No end of grade. I mean I don't really see the point in that either as it has become. Because with testing in general, the better kids do--you have to show growth and in the state system you have to show that. It's almost like you have to prove you're a good teacher, to be able to--so you have to do that through your students which isn't truly fair cause every group of students is so different. But what happens is with the county that I taught in they 3 Nikki Brittain tested every nine weeks. Then they also had a reading test where you had to test--give them passages or readings, reading passages, you had to give them three a week that they had to pass also. LA: Three? NB: Three. So, and they had to make a certain score on that so that they could pass what's called a portfolio and by the end of the year to see that they've improved, that they're efficient, proficient excuse me not efficient. Proficient in the reading course or reading standards that the states has allotted. Plus, the also- they do that all year, and they also have to take the E.O.G at the end of the year; which is not a great measurement of what they know either because they're not all the same and we all know as people, all students are not made the same or learn the same. And so, it's just the point of making--you get to the point of teaching, all you're doing is teaching how to take a test instead of teaching the love of learning. And you're teaching them how to take a test and by the end of that grade level, third grade, most of my students did not enjoy reading because they had done it to the point of all you did was read the test, not read for the love of reading so. That was, yeah, that was one my things that the state testing, I believe is completely wrong. Because it's not what we're, we're not promoting that reading, we're promoting testing. LA: Yeah, Yeah. Have you seen an impact on teachers--so their scores impact their careers in some ways, so have you seen that effect teachers and how they teach? NB: Oh I have definitely, in the public-school setting--teachers, it's almost gotten to teachers go against each other. Because a lot of your, if your kids do very well, there are bonuses in the school system if you make so high on--if your students make so high on test scores. And so a lot of times you see teachers almost not even wanting to cooperate with each 4 Nikki Brittain . other because the scores are compared to other classes in that same grade level; so a lot of times they don't want to share ideas. So why would I share an idea because they're going to, their kids are going to--1 don't want their kids to do as well on the test as my kids do because I want that bonus or I want that prestige of you know whatever, saying, oh my kids made such percentile and .. So I definitely see how it effects the teachers, their relationships with each other, but then also in their career because their almost trying to always go against each other. But you're almost also trying to do what, to get the highest scores so you can get the bonus but also so you can feel that you've made it. Just like kids always want to, especially in elementary level, they strive for their best--they want to please the teacher and you know sometimes kids just physically and educationally--they just can't, they don't have that in them so. It, it's kind of sad how it's become part of our education system. LA: Right, Right. I completely understand that. In your experience, what were some of the difficulties that teachers faced on a daily basis? At specifically, at a public school. NB: Public School? LA: Mhm. NB: Public school setting, the difficulties are--my previous ye·ar, the last year I was in a public school setting I had nineteen students, (in hushed whisper) nineteen I think .. (laughs) and I had probably ten of those that were E.C (exceptional children). So they were constantly being, I mean E.C can be from special ed, education--it can be from speech where they have to be pulled out for speech areas, they have to be pulled out for physical therapy. They have to be pulled out for emotional therapy. Just the things in the home settings and so forth that are so diverse that I was constantly, kids were leaving, you never had your whole group of students that you were accountable for at the end of the year because they're gone for two hours to a 5 Nikki Brittain · special ed teacher, they're gone for thirty minutes to a speech teacher, they're gone to a physical therapist. I mean, it's just a constant--you never felt that you, that you were with your students cause they're the ones that you're going to be based on. But a lot of them didn't get the same education because they weren't with you, they were constantly being pulled out from your classroom. So that's a big problem in the public school setting, cause you're being held accountable for these kids but then they're at all these different places and it's hard to .. You try to make, catch them up when they come back but then you got all these other students that are moving on so you got to constantly, you feel like you're just turning your wheels trying to get out, you know, trying to catch everybody up and get these guys focused to where they need to be so. LA: Do you think that's something that only elementary school or do you think that's something that teachers face in middle school and high school as well? NB: They usually, I think in middle and high I don't have much experience with that besides knowing teachers that teach that. I think a lot of times they stay with that certain special ed teachers throughout the day. So I'm sure, I would hope and pray that those teachers keep them. And I know I have a friend that's, a lady at our church, her daughter is special ed and she stays with the special ed teacher in middle school throughout the day so I don't know how high school works. I assume, I know with high school a lot of times they have to, they don't get to do a lot of the other classes because they're with the special ed child to catch them up from whatever they're lacking in education. But, in elementary it's very hard because they're mainstreaming a lot of the special needs kids, so then even in a lot of the other classes it's hard. I have a friend that's a librarian and she says it's just hard to even have--teach some things about the library because you have all these special needs kids in the library that are with your regular class that are very disruptive, you know, making noises and running around. And it's 6 Nikki Brittain even hard for those special area: P.E, Library, all those students also to kind of focus because you have all, and I know--and it's just when you get the diversity of the students and you're trying to meet EVERYOBODY'S needs, it's impossible. It, that's what you feel as a teacher. I mean it's an impossible job, cause you're just constantly trying to meet everyone--well you got to do this, you got to do that, and I know that the last year that's what they're wanting you to do. They want you to specialize your lessons to fit these three students that do this, or you know struggle in this and you're just constantiy trying to specialize and meet their individual needs which is pretty much impossible if you know students. And it's hard to do that as a classroom teacher, a regular ed classroom teacher so. LA: Yeah, I can understand that completely. So as you taught, how did you learn to address the barriers of communication between say teachers and the principle? Did you feel your voice was heard in the system? NB: In the public school setting, absolutely not. Well, we received a new principle the last two years that I taught at that school and she was very much focused on improving the school's test scores. So she was constantly trying to require more of us when we were already giving it our all you know? It's just one of those things you think she wasn't the support system that a lot of principles--and I know that I had a different situation and I've heard great things about some principles that they have that great support, they lift you up. But this one, she was constantly, you know well, you're not doing this good, you're not doing that good. Never what you ARE doing good. So it makes it, and I think a lot of that--1 don't know if that's her to blame or if that's the county blame because you know when you're in a school that is mid to low performing and their job, they're told all year long, you got to get this school up to this, and this, and this, you know, and it's all still based on the test scores. 7 Nikki Brittain LA: The test scores. So it all revolves around testing a lot doesn't it? NB: And it revolves around the scores a lot because they're--and I know principals I meet, I've never been to one, but I'm sure principal meetings are based on that too saying, well your kids, your school last year was a C school, they got to be a B school at the end of the year. And then once you get so high, even if, the state pretty much makes it impossible to show growth because--my son was an A.G (academically gifted) student and so in public school he did very well on testing, but he didn't make growth cause you can only go so high. And then I feel a lot of times with the testing, that they make it harder every year because they don't want the growth to be hard, make it hard for the students to make the growth because they make the test harder, and they do. Every year, as I even proctor when I stayed home with my children and for ten years and you could tell how the tests just evolved to where it was almost impossible for the students to do well. Which is, just not what it should be used for. It should be used for growth. And I understand you need to show how kids have improved over the year but when you make it so difficult to show that it makes it hard for .. LA: It stresses the kids out. NB: And it stresses the teacher out cause they're not where ihey are either. Cause at the. end of the year you're told as a teacher, "your kids did this well, next year I want to see your kids do this well". You know so it's just not, it's not a very easily focused, attainable goal in the school system. LA: Yeah, completely understandable. Alright so in your opinion, what were the best educational advancements made during your time as a teacher? Was there anything they incorporated into the classroom that you were able to use or that helped? 8 Nikki Brittain NB: Well, I taught, I also taught lower grades. I taught kindergarten and there's a lot of technology now in the school system. And I can see that as a bonus, but I can also see it as a hindrance because it becomes the babysitter. But even in kindergarten, you're required to test students every ten days on an iPad. So they're constantly being tested, which I know the technology shows the growth of even the five and six years old's but, so you're testing them every ten days on M class is what it's called. And so, with sight words-- but then also I see, cause we had smartboards and I know now they're going to Apple T.V's where you can do things on internet and you can see a lot of, you know, when you're talking about a certain science topic or certain Social Studies topic, you can actually show them a movie or whatever or a video that goes with that. And I know that in kindergarten we did a lot of songs to help them learn their letters and their numbers and their colors and all that. So the technology is a good but I think it's over-used a lot in the public school setting because it's used as-- well while you're testing other students, they have an iPad or they have a MacBook that they're using to play on and you know a lot of times that's hard to monitor because you're physically testing another student. And so I know in my older, in my upper grade settings of students, a lot of times I was praying they were on what they were supposed to be because (laughter) you never know. And students are smart enough now they know how to quickly click-off and click-on, so a lot of times · I don't think it's-- it's hard for us teachers to monitor what they're doing just because you're busy trying to get you're testing done for the month or for the ten days that you have to retest all those students. Even for the lower grades, upper grades it's the same way you have to constantly-- especially the ones that are lacking in their reading skills, which was most of my class last year-- I would have to retest them every ten days because they were still on the M class realm where they're not above a certain grade level. So they still have to take-- read books, and you have to ask questions and write things. So it's a lot different in, than it used to be. But I 9 Nikki Brittain mean technology is good and I understand how it can be used for good in the classroom for the benefit. But then I also think it's overused a lot of times. LA: Yeah. I can understand that with classroom management. Not being able to monitor what they're doing. NB: Well, and with the public school setting now too they've taken all the assistance away besides kindergarten so you don't even, you're pretty much the only adult body in that room. So of course you always have the tattle-tales that tell on somebody you know (inaudible) and so that makes it-- yeah you always have your assistants I call thein in my room, my student assistants that would help me out. But you know it is, it's hard to monitor a lot of that classroom management just because you can't, you only got two set of eyes, you can't do it all. So, that's a difficult part in the-- another difficult part is figuring that out how to do that effectively. LA: Oh yeah. What are some things you wish you had known before you had entered in the field of teaching? NB: Course I started, I was in school in 1999, I started in January of 1999 but so I am very much one of the old-school teachers where you're there to learn, you're not there to play. You're there to-- I think a lot of it would have been how to teach students with such specific learning disabilities. It, in my education that I received, there wasn't a lot focused on that. They told you the broad spectrum of "Ok this is a lesson plan, this is some classroom management ideas. This is this and this is that", but nothing like specifics like with reading, students who struggle with reading. How can you specifically-- ok I have a third grader but he's still reading at a first grade level. Ok I know strategies that help me, but they're not working. And you kind of run out and a lot of times when you see those that are SO frustrated with the testing and then their behavior reflects their frustration because then they start acting out because they don't 10 Nikki Brittain understand what they're reading and they can't read these words so what's the point of even listening? I think it's just a lot of that understanding of how to get those kids that struggle with certain subjects, and Math's the same way. I know I had students that struggled with Math, it's hard to get their brains if you could--more training on how students brains works and how you can get those to figure out how to reach certain things that they're having a hard time with. And a lot of that wasn't focused when I was in education and maybe you've learned more about that now. LA: Yeah, that's definitely something to compare from when you were in school to when I'm in school. The focus has definitely shifted from what you're telling me. That we're focused on diversity and intellectual disabilities and how to approach those things in the classroom a Jot. NB: Right, and we didn't--when I went to school it wasn't--now if you went to a special need or special ed area, that was, but when you're focused on just one broad elementary area, it wasn't any kind of focus there. And a lot of times there are workshops and so forth when you're in the school setting. But you can't really take those because you have to take·the other stuff to get you caught up on test training, because there's a Jot of training that goes on even when you become a teacher. I've had to give a test, I've had to, "make sure you do this and this". so even on your work days you have to go to trainings. So you don't actually get to work on your classrooms, it's mostly just trainings you have to attend. LA: My goodness. NB: But they're not what you really need (slight chuckle) LA: Gotcha. Ok, so kind of switching gears, who influenced you to become a t.eacher? Is there anyone in particular? 11 Nikki Brittain NB: Well, there were students-- as I said before there were teachers in elementary level that really took a pride. I went to a lower-income school, in elementary school and so you, I was of the minority pretty much and so it was a different diversity than even what I've taught in. But then you had those teachers that really tried to help you ad make you waht to do better in life you know and I pray that's what I do you know for my students LA: Yeah. NB: I really want them to achieve their goals cause I know a lot of mine, especially last year in public school setting, they came from difficult home lives where there were lots of things· that if they stay on the track that their parents took or even their siblings took, it's going to be, it's not going to be a successful life. So I think a lot of times you have to find those teachers and look back. And I see those teachers that really tried to drone in on that and tried to help you achieve those goals that you set for yourself; and I think that's what you have to remember as a teacher that they're always watching you and they're always thinking about, they want to please you and you have to turn it around and say "ok, how are we going to use these good things that you're learning in your life to make you a better person?" And that's really what I try to do in my classroom. And there are a few teachers that I remember doing that but then you also remember those teachers that are like "I'm not going to be them". So you remember those ones that you don't want to be like and you pray that you're not. Of course I had a middle school teacher that was a lot of fun so I try to (inaudible) that perspective but then I had the elementary that were a lot of the trying to culture to--( quietly) what's the word I'm looking for-- · try to lift them up and to really be the good role model they need, because a lot of our students don't have that in their lives. I come from a different background, my parents, neither one of them graduated high school. So when me and my brother both went to college to be teachers my dad laughed cause he's like, "I hated school that's why I quit". At 16 and 17 they quit school 12 Nikki Brittain and got married and course they're still married today but it's funny how you take a different-­but I think those teachers helped cultivate me that cause we knew, you know I didn'tcome from the everyone goes to college and gets the high paying career, they both worked in furniture . their whole life so. LA: So, that was going to be another question NB: Ok, sorry LA: No, no, no, no that's perfect. How do people react when you tell them you're a teacher? You said your dad laughed. Is that a usual response? NB: No, No. Most of the time they can tell after you've done it for so long everyone's like "you're a teacher" and I'm like yeahhhh. So they know personality wise that you--no most people don't laugh. Most people are like "what are you thinking?" "How do you do it all day?" That's the most reaction, "why are you teaching? Why would you do that?" "I couldn't do it, my kids drive me crazy I can't imagine a classroom full of them". LA: (Laughs) Yeah I get that a lot. NB: Yeah you probably do. I know I have a cousin that's a little bit older than you that went into teaching and I looked at her I said "what are you thinking?" She actually teaches Charlotte Mech. (Interruption) LA: How do people react when you tell them you're a teacher? NB: Most people are not surprised, cause if you've ever known teachers, they're very much--have a very person-- very similar personality and just their relationship with students, 13 Nikki Brittain especially with children, are not the same. But most people are--don't see how you can teach because they don't even--that say "my own kids drive me crazy so I can't imagine a classroom full". But most are appreciative if--and most of my parents that I've, I've had their students are . appreciative. Now sometimes they, if they didn't like me, they usually turn around the other way so they don't even say hello which is fine I mean that's part of teaching. You're going to have some that you really, you really help and influence. And then some others that didn't really like your influence and a lot of times with students sort of struggling the parents aren't as--they blame you for their struggles instead of what they've done at home or their students. I know I had one incident last year where the student was just having a hard time and I asked, I tried and, course you know at home she didn't do a lot of the stuff she said she did, so that made it harder too because it has to be that partnership. LA: Gotcha. So how does the reaction make you feel? Is it like a positive reaction or does· it make you feel proud to be a teacher? NB: Well usually I turn it into a positive. I'm like, "well you know !love the students and this is what God has called me to do"; and that's what I always, usually respond with. I know this is what God created me to do. And I enjoy it, I do enjoy-- like I said the joy of seeing those kids learn new things-- just when they have that aha! moment and you know that they've got it, there's nothing better in a teacher's heart than seeing that. LA: Definitely, that joy that they're getting it, they're excited.about it. NB: The excitement, right, right. And they want to do more with it a lot of times, and that's what we thrive for as teachers is to see that in your students eyes. 14 Nikki Brittain LA: That's good. So now we're going to talk about what your transition from public school to private school. So, what made it you- -(laughs) motivated you to change from a public school to a private school? NB: It's mainly the testing, and seeing students that were just physically distraught because they couldn't understand the testing. They didn't understand why they had to take this test every--had these passages to read three times a week and I didn't understand it either you know. As a teacher, there are certain things that, "yeah ok, I can kind of get why we have to do this." But when you're giving students that are reading first grade level, fourth and fifth grade material that they're having to read by their self and answer questions; it was impossible for me to understand. And then also with the kindergarten students that--a lot of them had no experience to letters, numbers, and you're making them sit down every ten days and answer questions and they're, you don't have a lot of time to do the teaching because you're constantly · pulling students back testing or you're constantly saying "guys we got to be quiet we're taking a test", or you're constantly saying "ok get your iPad let's- alright I need so and so to do this alright, I need so and so back here at my work or my testing table to test". It's just not, it's not what I considered the teaching should be. It's more of just, like I said before, teaching to that test and making sure that they do their best in the testing standards. Where with the private school I'm actually teaching. It's a lot of work, I mean I actually get to teach history arid I get to teach Science. I get to do experiments, we get to look at things, we get to--it's a lot different · where before we were always focused on, "Ok, this--I have to test all these ten kids by the end of next week. Alright, how am I going to get their test in before--and then also get their whatever letter we're learning that day in kindergarten or whatever Math topic we need to work on adding, subtracting." How we're going to figure all that in plus with the testing you know and now I actually get to focus on the teaching part of it and realize that--get to focus on 15 Nikki Brittain each individual child learning needs and that was the main reason I moved from the public school setting. LA: That's awesome. Ok, how is the private school different? I mean you've mentioned some things is there anything else that you'd like to add on that? NB: Well, there's good and bad I'm not going to lie to you. The private's a lot less pay. LA: Right. NB: Not as many benefits, insurance wise. You're paying your own insurance and you're · families own insurance but I see that the benefits of being able to teach again outweighs the the monetary value of education. Also with the private school setting you have a lot less students, I have a lot less students. And the behavior problems aren't as severe and with smaller classes you can actually kind of hone those in, into the positive. I try to always focus my classroom management on positive instead of constantly beating students down or saying the bad things about them and what they're doing wrong. I try to reflect on the Biblical aspect because we're a Christian school. So we have honorable character traits and there's a Bible verse for each one and that's what we try to focus on in the private school setting is, "ok are you doing this? Is this what God's word says? Then that's what you need to be doing this right now in class". Where in the public school setting you're--with classroom management, a lot of it's, "if you dm1't do this then you're going to-then this is going to happen". It's not a lot of the positive reinforcement; and that the diverse setting of their home life is so different in the public school setting, where a lot of times you don't know what they just come home or what they go home to and what they've come from in that morning. So it's--and then you expect them to sit and listen for six hours you know.And they don't even know if they're going to have food when they get home or they don't. So a lot of that is a lot different cause now it's a different dynamic of students that 16 Nikki Brittain I'm working with. There's not much, there's no testing whatsoever in elementary. The grammar is what elementary is called in the classroom or in the school that I'm in now. So there's absolutely no standardized testing at all. It's all--you do great on the second grade level which is what I teach now. But we do, do have grades, but we don't have to worry about teaching to this · wonderful test at the end of the year (chuckles lightly) that you're going to have, where that's what you were focused on in the m fourth and fifth in public schools. LA: Ok, I think that's awesome. You don't have to focus on the testing that you were so concerned with in public school. NB: Yes, and you're not comparison, comparing yourself always to those other teachers that you were made to do in the public school setting. Well "this teacher did this. Oh, let's give her", you know, "let's praise her". Where this one well, "you didn't make your growth". So a lot of times it depends on the students. And we all know that too, and I know in the public-school setting there in the last few years that I taught they were actually, I don't want to say it in a negative way, but they were almost stacking classes. Like they were, they were getting those students that would show the most growth in certain classes so then that teacher got the bonus where the other ones would get the left overs. You know like--and as we talked about before, that students, that High students you can't really show growth because they can only go so high. And then the low students, they're not going to make the growth cause they're not even reading on the grade level, so there not going to make any growth. So usually that middle group of students that's going to go from what, high three's to fives's or high four's; they're grouping those together in one class so they're showing that growth in that one class. So, then of course that teacher looks like she's wonderful because she's making all this growth so. LA: So again, they're all focused on the testing. 17 Nikki Brittain NB: Right, Right, it's the testing. LA: Ok, so if you could go back in time, would you have taught at a public school or . would you have gone straight to a private school? Would you have done it the same way you've done it now? NB: Well when I began teaching it wasn't like it is now. I mean you did have the E.O.G's, because I taught the fourth grade and then I've taught second grade public school, I've taught third grade, I've taught kindergarten in public school. You don't have· the, you didn't have the testing back then. You didn't have the comparison, you worked as a--it was a cohesive as teachers, you worked together. You tried as a group to help your students. And now it's not that way, so I would have still went into education. Now I might have went into special ed. Because I really have a heart for those special needs students than a regular ed. But you know when you're eighteen and nineteen and twenty, and you're making that decision you're like "oh yeah let's do the easy one". LA: (Laughs) NB: So I think a lot of that, sometimes I think if I would have had a do over I would have went into kind of different area of education. But not, I would still be a teacher in public. I would have still had, I mean I've learned a lot from my experiences as a public-school teacher and in a private school setting. I wish would have had more training in what I'm doing now because it's a lot different form public but I would have, there's not much I would change. LA: So you've talked really, you've spoke really great about private school are there any challenges that you face as a private school teacher compared to the public schools? 18 Nikki Brittain NB: Definitely, there's challenges, good and bad both. But, but the challenges are now the private schools setting, the parents are paying for their school. So that makes it a little more difficult cause they see school as "well I'm paying you so you're going to do what I ask", or a lot of times with the private schools setting too it has--we're doing a classical, it's a classical approach which is a little different. It's more of the old school. It's a lot I've not been trained on. They do lots of songs, lots of chants, lots of stuff that I'm just learning; and so as a 42-year-old trying to learn something new it doesn't always work well. LA: (Chuckles) NB: But, there is--and then as I said also with the-- they're paying for their school so they have a little more expectation as parents. They're very involved, they're very involved. Where with the public-school setting, a lot of times you don't even see the parents. Where with the private school they're there all the time--which I like, I'm not one of those that, I know some teachers don't really like the pare--the teacher or the parents in the classroom but I don't mind the parents. They, I mean their kids, and being a mom I know it's my kid, you know, I'm their only advocate for my child. And that's how it should be as a parent. Also with the private school setting--I know my son is also in a private school now and he has combination classes just because the school is so small that--and that's been a little bit difficult for him because he's, a lot of times he has to share assignments and he's-- but he's done well. He's been very successful in the private school so. LA: That's good! Ok so what is the highlight of your day as a private school teacher? NB: Private school, I get to teach Bible, which is one of my all-time favorite things to teach. I get to do that at the end of the day. They're learning Bible verses and understanding God's word and how it should be, what's reflected in our lives and not how smart I am, or did I 19 Nikki Brittain make straight A's, did I make whatever..! think that's the highlight I want to see in these boys-- I have all boys this year, I have six boys actually in my class. To see them to turn into Godly man and to want that to strive for that, of knowing that God put us here for a purpose and I just want to help them to fulfill that purpose. LA: Yeah, that's awesome. Ok is there anything else you'd like to add? Anything you want to cover? NB: No I don't think so. I mean I appreciate you interviewing, getting my word out there.· I'm sure it's going to be like phenomenal. I may hear it on talk radio. LA: Oh yeah. (Laughing) Well thank you for participating I really appreciate the time you've taken out of your day to help me out and putting your story out there for everyone else to hear. NB: Yeah! Thank you for having me. There you go! Thank you. LA: Thank you. END OF INTERVIEW Transcribed by: Laura Abernathy Interview: October 12, 2018 20

Object’s are ‘parent’ level descriptions to ‘children’ items, (e.g. a book with pages).