Name: Allison Christine Ryals
College & Majors/Minors: BA English from McNeese State University, MAT from Northwestern State University
Current Location: Lake Charles, LA
Current Form of Employment/Job Title: Middle School English teacher
Where do you work and what is your current position?
7th grade ELA teacher at Lake Charles Charter Academy in Lake Charles, LA. I am also the Speech Coach.
Tell us about how you found your job!
I found this job by the grace of God! I applied at every single school in the state of Louisiana, but since I did not have a teacher certification at the time, no one wanted to give me a chance. I was working part-time at Sylvan Learning tutoring students when I met someone who said the charter school was hiring. I applied the next day and was hired! The application process was not that difficult. It was the usual paperwork. The interview was detailed. I was asked about my teaching methods and about where I stood on certain issues in education. I was also asked about classroom management since the position I was taking was only available since the last teacher walked out. That was October 1, 2012. Since then, I have grown so much as a teacher and a person. My colleagues are truly my family. I love coming to work every day. I have also had other schools that have heard about me call and ask if I would work for them, but I am not ready to leave this wonderful family!
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
I am not quite there yet since I am working on my Master’s degree. I graduate in May and am excited that I will not have homework! I will actually have time to relax and read regular books instead of textbooks.
What has been the most surprising thing about being a teacher?
The most surprising thing about being a teacher is the fact that relationships with students are sometimes more important than the content. When I began teaching, I thought that since I knew the content, then I would be fine. I could be an awesome teacher. It doesn’t matter how much you know. Students do not care what you want to teach them if they do not like you. I spend the first two weeks of school each year building relationships with my students because they will work so much harder for me if they know that I truly care about them. A relationship with a student takes a teacher so much further than any amount of content knowledge.