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Distinguished Teacher Jennifer Vijeh

What advice would you give to people considering a career in teaching?

My advice to people considering a career in teaching is to be open-minded, be a life-long learner, be a good listener, and seek out positive mentors with whom to surround yourself. There are many things you can learn from a book, like how to teach a certain subject matter. But the true learning comes from the daily experiences you have with your students, seeking advice from and collaborating with veteran teachers, and adjusting to the new challenges that come up every day in the classroom.

What's the best thing about teaching?

The best thing about teaching is the relationship you build with your students and their families. In Special Education, many students and parents do not understand what it means to be on an IEP, and the impact that may have on their futures. But teaching academics and the IEP process empowers these families to get their needs met. This begins with a strong foundation of trust, communication, and compassion.