My name is Trista Lanette Pollard. I am a teacher, coder, traveler, designer, and friend. I entered the teaching profession as a second career at age 25. I was blessed to have my four years at Douglass College, Rutgers University, paid for in full by my parents. At the time, I had interned at Prudential in Newark, New Jersey during my summer and winter breaks starting my sophomore year.
I had graduated and accepted a job as a Staff Accountant with the company knowing that accounting and business were not my calling. I also knew that if I wanted to change careers, that would be on “my dime.”
I took education courses at a local community college and worked at daycare centers to make sure I wanted to work with children. Actually, I had the most fun working with infants and toddlers during that time.
In the summer of 1992, I enrolled in the Masters program at Kean University. It was one of the few graduate programs in the area that allowed you to become certified as a teacher after completing 24 graduate credits and to obtain your Master’s degree after an additional 18 credits. It was the best program for an educated individual looking to move into a career teaching younger students.
After student teaching at Maple Avenue Annex School in Newark, New Jersey, I was offered a position in Westfield, New Jersey in May of 1993. I have been a contributing member of the Westfield School District teaching staff since then. During my 22 years, I have taught second through fifth grade and Basic Skills (during the last two years). I became a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), Middle Childhood Generalist (Ages 7-12) in 2003. I renewed in 2013 and will maintain my certificate until 2023.
I believe that educational programs and philosophies come and go. What endures are the teachers who weather these changes and the “tried and true” resources they use in their classrooms. Whenever my district changed to a new program and strongly encouraged us to get rid of the old resources, I became a “hoarder.” Even if I kept one set, then I had another resource I could use to reach my students. Resources can be cute, however at the end of the day, they serve a valuable purpose: they have to be used to effectively teach our students. That is the goal of Chalkspot.com.
Trista Lanette Pollard, NBCT