When asked the question, “Why did you want to become a teacher?”, NTR resident Liza Landry simply answers that she desires to be a positive role model for children.
Growing up, she is the first to admit that she struggled in school. As a student, she didn’t have a passion for learning, but rather for a passion for relationships and a feeling of community. Each year, she had a “school mom”, who watched over her and encouraged her. She fondly recalls a high school ethics teacher that really cared about her and her personal success. This teacher pushed her to reach her full potential, and this left a lasting impression and a desire to do the same for others.
As Liza goes throughout her day at Valor Collegiate Academies, she recognizes that students are watching her.
“We [teachers] live our lives on a stage. I always think about how my students are watching us and copying our behaviors. It is important for me to be the best role model that I can.”
-Liza Landry, NTR Resident
At the beginning of your NTR residency year, what were you most nervous about?
As a part of the NTR’s bi-weekly teacher preparation classes, residents practice teaching techniques in front of other residents. At first, the thought of practicing in front of other adults was nerve wracking, but now it is one of my favorite parts of the classes. NTR pushes you to get out of your comfort zone and to be the best that you can be!
What has been one of your biggest challenges?
Learning my class’s content has been a challenge. Looking back at my years as a student, my attitude towards learning caused me to take learning opportunities away from myself. With that being said, I now push myself hard to learn and grow, and it feels good.
What is something that a student has taught you, the teacher?
I am one of those cliche people that thinks and says: “I don’t teach the kids. They teach me!” I feel like a lot of our kids at Valor have lived a thousand years of experiences. We have students that have lost family members, have fled their home countries and have learned another language. Our students have taught me to be grateful for where I am and what I get to do [teach them!] every day.
Why did you choose NTR?
NTR was looking for people versus statistics (grades, GPA). During the group interview, the NTR staff made me feel like they wanted to see me and learn about me as a person. Instead of grilling me on why my final GPA in college wasn’t as high as I would have liked, they wanted to know “where I was going” in the future.
What do you value most about NTR’s teacher training?
I love NTR’s focus on the value of knowing your community. They have taught us that strong relationships with students are one of the keys to success. You can teach almost anyone to be a good teacher, but you can’t teach a person to connect and love. NTR gives you the space to naturally develop that skill.
The end of the first semester is approaching. What does success look like to you?
I will define success as seeing growth in all of us, students and staff.