Upstream News sat down with Sanjog Kulkarni
Q: Why did you choose to work at Carnegie?
Kulkarni: I found that this is one of the good schools in Houston and I would like to teach kids AP courses and get them ready for high school.
Q: What job are you coming from?
Kulkarni: I’m coming from at MacArthur Highschool, in Aldine ISD.
Q: What’s the best part about teaching for you?
Kulkarni: For me, the kids are the best part, the way they start to care for you and show concern for you, once you show them concern and care.
Q: What advice would you give to your past self?
Kulkarni: To play more and be more well-rounded and not to think that academics are everything.
Q: What is the hardest thing about teaching for you?
Kulkarni: For me, it’s the first few days when you are getting to know the kids and they are getting to know your accent and know more about your culture.
Q: How do you stay organized?
Kulkarni: Nowadays since the majority of things are online, it’s easy to stay organized with the tools we can use.
Q: So where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Kulkarni: I want to have my Masters; I want to complete my doctorate and see if I can influence the same career. I’d like to be in academia only I’m not thinking of going into industry, but grow in academia to whatever level I can.
Q: If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing?
Kulkarni: Maybe something in social service. We have a charitable trust back in India, and I was inspired by them. And I was thinking that I should be contributing back to society in some other way. So join some service activities and do some kind of a job, maybe an IT job because it’s more relevant to my degrees.
Q: What’s a time you wish you had done something differently in your teaching career?
Kulkarni: That immediately after my master’s, I should have gotten something like the job that I have now, instead of having gone back to school. I should have started my career with teaching after having done my Masters directly after college.
Q: I know you care a lot about academics. How did you cope with going through high school?
Kulkarni: My high school was very tough because it was kind of residential. So we had a lot of friends, we used to collaborate and used to work hard with. It was like one of the best schools back in India when I went to high school. And the kids were very motivated. They did not need any teachers or parents to motivate them. They stayed ahead of the teachers and they used to compete in various exams all over the world. So we had a kind of peer pressure.
Q: What rules or standards do you have in the classroom that you’d like people to know?
Kulkarni: The rules that I have in my classroom is kids have to be respectful to everyone, teachers to colleagues, and the major rule is to try to understand because everyone is from the different diverse cultures in this school. So for one person, a thing may not be disrespectful but the same thing could hurt someone else’s feelings. If you feel though you may not have said something good, learn to say sorry, and try to be more humble.
Q: And what’s your dream for the teaching at this school?
Kulkarni: I’m planning on getting signed certification and as soon as I get that I’d like to teach AP computer science.