Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week at Watch Communications

This Teacher Appreciation Day, Watch Communications is spotlighting Francie Patterson, a full-time teacher who works for us over the summers, representing Watch at festivals, fairs, and other community events. Francie began her career working with children at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in 1986 where she worked in one of two, 24-hour home care centers for the base. She completed her formal training in Early Childhood Education in 1997 at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. Over the years, she taught reading and math, worked in kindergarten enrichment, adult education classes, and also worked at a substitute teacher while raising her own children. Francie also ran tutoring programs for Boys and Girls Clubs, and coached track, volleyball, softball, soccer, and basketball. She currently teaches art and music to students in preschool through sixth grade.

Let’s look closer at Francie’s journey as a teacher and her valuable contributions to Watch Communications.

Watch: Francie, what inspired you to become a teacher?

Francie: I have always loved working with children. It began when I was the neighborhood babysitter. I enjoyed playing with the children, teaching them songs and games, and doing crafts. A special moment when I babysat was teaching a 4-year-old girl how to walk. She had spent most of her life in a body cast and had gone through many surgeries. I taught her how to take her first steps. And then, I watched her walk to her mother for the first time. I realized how much I enjoyed working with children and teaching them.

Watch: That’s wonderful to hear. What was the most memorable moment of your teaching career? 

Francie: The most memorable moment of my teaching career was this year at our Veteran’s Day program. I had taught all my students a song, but due to the program being too long, we decided to cut that song. We then chose to use it as part of the slide show presentation since we always have music with the slides. I had yet to tell the students it was part of the slide show. When the song started playing, the students all began singing. It was a beautiful moment and brought happy tears to my eyes.

Watch: What challenges do teachers face, and how do you overcome them? 

Francie: Some challenges I face as a teacher are the strong-willed student, the student with behavior issues, and the lack of supplies or resources. I overcome those challenges by trying to form a bond with the strong-willed student and the student with behavior issues. I let them be my helper. I talk to them. I show them that I care. Regarding the lack of supplies or resources, I make do with things I have on hand or try to be creative and use other materials, mainly since I teach art and music.

Watch: You has worked for Watch during the summers for eight years now. Tell us about your role.

Francie: I have worked for WATCH during the summer months for eight years. I set up and managed booths at various fairs and festivals to tell people about the Internet company. When not at fairs and festivals, I also work in the office. I go door-tagging to help spread the word about WATCH being in a new area.

Watch: Watch Communications is a rural internet company that services your area. We want to know how you incorporate technology and the Internet into your classroom.

Francie: I incorporate technology and internet use into my curriculum daily. In art, I use the Internet to show YouTube videos of artists and how to draw videos on the Android television in my classroom. In the music room, we have a Smart Board. I can use it for Google searches, YouTube, and Prodigies Music. We also use it to watch musicals and play online musical games.

Watch: What are some common misconceptions about teaching? 

Francie: A big misconception is, “You get your summers off and a lot of vacation time.” Teachers do not get much vacation time and summers “off.” We spend most of that time taking classes or working on professional development. We spend the time off working on lesson plans, grading, creating bulletin boards, researching ways to serve our students better, and learning new techniques or how to use new technology. I have spent many hours of my weekends, evenings, breaks, etc., doing all the above. We often sacrifice our own family time for our students.

Watch: With graduation season just around the corner, what advice would you give someone considering a career in teaching? 

Francie: You must love working with children if you want to get into teaching. You will face many challenges. And this isn’t a career to get rich. Most teachers spend a lot of their money on their classrooms and students.

Watch: What is your favorite part about working at the fairs and festivals during the summer? 

Francie: I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people. You meet a lot of interesting people. Some may be customers, and others are vendors. I have made a few life-long friends while working at fairs and festivals.

Watch: Thank you to Francie for participating in our employee spotlight amidst end-of-year school chaos! We appreciate the opportunity to delve into your teaching journey and learn more about you. Keep an eye for Francie at your local county fair or festivals in your area where we have a booth! She is a wonderful advocate for early childhood education and cares deeply about instilling in children a life-long love of learning. She’ll be happy to helo you learn about the service and products Watch Communications offers. To see our upcoming events, check out www.watchcomm.net/events