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Faculty Survey with Dr. Fryer

Students working on our yearbook at Providence Day School sent faculty a survey this fall. Here are the questions they asked me, and my answers. Students sent this survey as a Google Form. I’ve included some hyperlinks in my answers below, but these were not part of my submitted answers for students on our Yearbook staff. I also interspersed some related tweets which I also didn’t submit on the Google Form. Many of these were excellent questions to ask teachers!

What is your favorite part about being a member of the PDS faculty?

I love how collaborative and friendly our faculty are. And I also enjoy having conversations with new people at lunch.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What is the most memorable moment from your teaching career?

Last year, as a sixth grade advisor at my previous school, we had an “out to lunch,” which is basically an advisory potluck at lunch. I cooked an entire brisket for my advisory students, so we had a pretty awesome barbecue meal together. That was really a great memory.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What do you look forward to every day?

I look forward to visiting and connecting with my colleagues in the IDEAS department, as well as checking in with some of my new faculty friends in the English and History departments. I also look forward to interacting with my students, especially seeing what new ideas they have for “robotics challenge projects” or media creations they will come up with using iPads.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What is a typical day in your class like?

We usually start with a short conversation about a video or article. I call a “Wonder Link.” Then will have an introductory lesson and spend time either working on a robotics challenge or creating and sharing some kind of media project.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

Are there certain days at school you prefer than others?

I do enjoy having planning time during the day, but I am honestly energized by my schedule each day, even when I have a completely full teaching schedule. I enjoy the days our faculty FCA group meets for Bible study, prayer and conversations after lunch.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What is your favorite class to teach and why?

I love teaching “Computer Applications,” which I like to call “Media Literacy.” But I also love teaching my Lego Robotics class! I love introducing students to new ways to communicate with media, and also helping them develop their computational thinking skills through physical computing.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What do you do to make yourself a better teacher?

I am constantly listening to podcasts and connecting with other teachers on Twitter. I try to “play with media” and create different kinds of media projects myself outside of classes, and often share my creations on social media. I also like sharing my lessons on a Google Site, and I’m trying to do more professional writing in the evenings through writing and reflections, sometimes on my professional blog. I am able to improve my own practices as well as obtain feedback from other teachers that can be very helpful through my uses of social media.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

Is teaching worth waking up early and dealing with kids all day?

Yes! I love having the opportunity to learn with students each day.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What are your favorite types of students?

I love curious students who ask thoughtful and challenging questions.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What are your least favorite types of students?

I don’t think this is a “type of student” but rather a choice. I do not like it when students (or anyone) is disrespectful.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What is your favorite day of the week and why?

I enjoy Fridays a lot since they are spirit days.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

Do you give students a lot of homework when they make you mad?

No, I try not to give much homework overall. My personal feelings on a particular day do not affect my lesson activities or homework. I would never assign a learning activity or lesson assessment as a punishment or consequence for negative behavior. Also (and thankfully,) I rarely ever get mad!

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

If you could teach any class, what would it be?

Storychasing Racial Literacy”

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

If you could get rid of any class in the curriculum, what would it be?

I don’t think I’d get rid of an entire class, but there are some changes I’d make. I think learning to write in cursive should be treated like an optional elective. I would de-emphasize the rote memorization of states / countries and capitals in Geography classes, as well as over-hyped, timed multiplication tests. I would completely eliminate oral spelling tests and replace them with “keyboarding bees.”

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

If you could create a new class for the curriculum, what would it be?

I’m working on a class I’d like to call “Storychasing Racial Literacy.”  I’d also like to teach a class focusing on GeoMaps, spatial analytics and literacy. I’d love to teach a class on “Editing WikiPedia.” I’d also like to teach a class focused on digital storytelling” in multiple formats. I believe “video is the pencil of the twenty-first century,” so we should be both using and CREATING videos much more in our classes.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

Why did you choose Providence Day rather than another school?

PDS has a strong vision for STEM, Maker Education, Digital Citizenship, and Media Literacy. I chose PDS because of I our new “IDEAS Department” and the collaborative colleagues I have joined as a teacher, learner and leader.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What makes your job fun or unique?

I love the autonomy I have as a teacher at PDS in the IDEAS department to innovate and collaborate with colleagues and students.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

Why did you choose to be a teacher?

I was fortunate to have some outstanding teachers who had a huge, positive impact on my life, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

What was your dream job as a kid?

When I was younger I wanted to become a fighter pilot in the US Air Force. When I was very young I wanted to be a firefighter.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

If you had another job before PDS, how does it compare?

I have had many different jobs previously. One of my previous jobs was being a school Director of Technology. I enjoyed the relationships I built with faculty and staff across campus, but found our lack of other support staff / teammates challenging and overwhelming at times. I love teaching and enjoy not being individually responsible for maintaining the technology infrastructure and meeting all IT support needs for 900 students and 200 faculty and staff. I had to do that alone for six months in a part job role, and that was not fun or sustainable.

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

Is there a story you could share about an experience you’ve had this year pertaining to a class you teach?

I was able to help one of our students create and improve an iMovie he made about a family religious holiday and celebration, which he shared with the entire Middle School at an assembly. That was fun and rewarding!

by Dr. Wes Fryer, 17 October 2022

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes’ free newsletter. Check out Wes’ video tutorial library, “Playing with Media.” Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on wesfryer.com/after.