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Distinguished Teacher Terri Edinburgh

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

My advice to people considering a career in teaching is to know and understand that there are two sides to teaching and, to be an effective teacher, you have to wholeheartedly embrace both. We are all familiar with teaching academics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, there is another side to teaching that has to be embraced… teaching humanity. Teaching that hungry student, the one who, for the life of him/herself, cannot sit still: the student who disrupts, attacks, and disrespects you. Having the patience to teach the one who seems unreachable, the other unapproachable, and the one that doesn’t understand due to a language barrier. Must have the ability to see past behaviors, biases, cultural differences, etc. and love teaching the whole child. As a teacher, you have to embrace everything about the student, both the good and the bad! If not, maybe teaching is not the career for you after all.

What's the best thing about teaching?

The best thing about teaching, for me, are those "aha moments!" Those moments throughout the school day when I see in my students' eyes that they finally got it!