Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

High School Teachers Participate in Panel Discussion at WCE

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Northside High School biology teachers Nicole Martin 13 and Kadie Ondrus, Topsail High School English teacher Tom Mattos ’16 and New Hanover High School social studies teacher Ray Stone ’15 participated in a panel discussion with students enrolled in WCE’s MAT in Secondary Education on Oct. 24. Martin, Mattos and Stone are all graduates of WCE’s secondary MAT program. Martin is also Onslow County Schools’ Teacher of the Year.

During the hour-long discussion, students asked a wide range of questions about the challenges and rewards of teaching at the high school level.

Panelists all said their jobs are interesting every day, and there was a consensus that the first year of teaching is the most difficult.

“The job they’re going to ask you to do is nearly impossible,” Martin said. The teachers cited bureaucratic challenges, faculty meetings, special projects and professional development plans. They advised the students to remain flexible, stay one day ahead of the kids, build a support network, maintain a positive attitude and try not to obsess over the many demands on their time.

“What matters most are the kids in your class. Put them first and do what’s best for them, and you’ll be fine,” Ondrus said.

Robert Smith coordinated the event. Smith is WCE’s Wendy and Dell Murphy Distinguished Professor of Education and a faculty member in WCE’s secondary education program.

“This was a way for our students to learn from those already in the field and, for our graduates, to help guide the new recruits and remain connected to Watson’s MAT program,” he said.