“Being passionate about your work, believing in kids & continually growing as a teacher & a learner are what it takes to be an amazing educator.” – Cassandra Clowry-Baillo
You can’t be a teacher without passion. Teaching is an incredibly hard profession. To do it well, you have to figure out each kid – how they think, what they need, what they know, what motivates them, how to get their very best, how to coax them past their fears, how to connect what they know and how they think to what they need to know. You are part educator, part salesman, part coach, part mentor, part parent. You will spend endless hours each day (and more hours in the middle of the night) worrying about someone else’s child. This is the hardest job you will ever have. (I don’t say this lightly. I used to be an engineer at a top R & D firm and regularly worked 60 hours each week. As a teacher, I work 70-80 hours a week.) You can’t do this job if you don’t believe deeply in the importance of this work. You just won’t last.
Believing in Students
You have to believe that every single student can be successful. You have to believe it so deeply and so loudly that they hear your belief and that it becomes their own. You have to believe that it isn’t “the fault in their stars”, but in your practice if they aren’t succeeding. You have to believe it so deeply that you will be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and try new things if the old things aren’t working. You have to believe it deeply enough to be brave enough to change instead of just blaming them.
Commitment to Growing as a Teacher
The more that you know, the more that you know that you don’t know. You have to have an insatiable thirst to find the answers that you need to help kids succeed. That means you can never stop learning because there is always a new kid, a new challenge, a new need.