Teacher preparing for last year in classroomWritten by Lauren Bee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
cher and educational technology resource teacher at Glendale-Feilbach Elementary School, is getting ready for her last first day of school.
With more than 29 years of teaching to her credit, Repp will retire after this school year.
“I had two goals in life,” Repp said. “One of them was to be a teacher; the other one was to be a lawyer. I did the teaching one first.”
Repp, 56, started her teaching career in January 1980, when she joined the faculty of Kaiser Elementary School as a sixth-grade teacher. She would continue with Toledo Public Schools (TPS) for the remainder of her career, teaching all elementary grades, except kindergarten.
“I think that teaching has been a wonderful, rewarding, challenging career,” Repp said, who will end her career as an educational technology resource teacher. “I have felt that every year. I start out thinking, ‘What can I do to help the kids and make them better?’ And even this year, knowing that the end is near, it’s not any different.”
During her employment with TPS, Repp saw many big changes, namely standardized testing and computers.
The introduction of computers into public schools in the late ‘90s led to a new position at TPS for Repp. She became an Educational Technology Trainer (ETT) and her job was to go into the classrooms and teach the teachers about using the technology and help them introduce the students to computers. Repp was an ETT for two and a half years, until the funding for the program was gone.
“As an ETT, being out of the classroom gave me a fresh experience,” she said. “You know what the best part of being out of the classroom was? Seeing the great teachers in the other schools. People have no idea.
“I don’t think Toledo realizes what good teachers they have. A lot of teachers don’t get to go out and see other teachers working, and with that job, I got to do that.”
After retirement, Repp would like to influence changing standardized testing at the state level.
“I’d like to be involved with how they do the testing. I want to make it fair. It’s not fair to the regular kids; it’s not fair to the special ed kids; it’s not fair to big districts like Toledo. I think we could make the most change at the state level.”
Another change Repp noticed at TPS, over the years, was a decrease in enrollment because of the introduction of charter schools.
“I guess I’m not afraid of competition, but I wish [charter schools] were graded on the same kind of scale we are,” she said. “They take the test, but they don’t have to publish their scores.”
Repp said her experience with the Ohio Proficiency Test and Ohio Achievement Test has affected her view of teaching.
“It’s not mastery; it’s just giving them the information,” she said. “I felt the kids before the test learned just as much. And now it’s, ‘Oh well, you didn’t get it; we’ve got to go on.’ I like standards; I think it’s great to have a list of standards, but I think it’s too many standards.”
Repp recommended that new teachers find a mentor in their building.
“You need somebody in your building, someone you feel like you can go to, not just to ask about teaching questions, but logistic questions,” she said.
As for not becoming a lawyer, she has no regrets.
“I did pursue trying to become a lawyer, but I had three kids. If I were to be a lawyer, it would have taken a lot of family time away, and I just didn’t want to do that.”