Our October Sub of the Month is Kadari Taylor-Watson! Since she began using Tagg earlier this year, Kadari has demonstrated a love of learning and an interest in trying new things. She is passionate about education and values the opportunity to have a positive impact in our community by connecting with the youth. Read our interview with Kadari below!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kadari Taylor-Watson. I was born in St. Louis Missouri and raised in the Birthplace of America- Williamsburg, Virginia. Growing up in Williamsburg with parents who are educators truly impacted by childhood. I learned very early that education is key to understanding where we’ve been and where we may have the opportunity to go. I am also a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University studying the significance of material culture for women. I am passionate about understanding how tangible items can help provide insight into people and how they construct their identities. This study led me to research the effect of cloth in my dissertation and is the type of thinking that also helps to inform my teaching philosophy. Lastly, I love any activity that showcases duality in people. Particularly, I love the art and practice of yoga because it allows you to be strong, graceful and flexible, yet firm in your poses. It is in the space of duality that I believe we learn how to embrace all of ourselves.
Why did you decide to be a substitute teacher?
I decided to be a substitute teacher because I have a passion for education and want to be connected to others who do as well. I also wanted the opportunity to learn about different districts, types of school systems, and most importantly to develop meaningful relationships with the younger generation through education. I also wanted the opportunity to revisit the K-12 system to see how my training at a doctoral level could positively contribute to a younger classroom setting.
What do you love most about substitute teaching?
What I love most about substitute teaching is the opportunity to immerse myself in a new learning community with students from different experiences willing to bring their diverse lives into the classroom for all of us to gain from.
Do you have a favorite grade or subject you like to teach and why?
Before I started substitute teaching, I would’ve said that my favorite areas to teach were in the Liberal Arts because that’s my background. However, after gaining the opportunity to teach multiple subjects, I find that teaching a variety of subjects has been both challenging and rewarding.
If you had to give any advice to a new substitute teacher, what would it be?
If I had to give any advice to a new substitute teacher, I would say do your research about the school you’ll be teaching at. Learn their mission. Be confident in your ability to teach anything with the right preparation and attitude. Finally, be kind, firm and fair to all of your students.