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Distinguished Teacher Helen Brand

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

The rapport you develop with students will pay big dividends in terms of their desire to succeed. Find opportunities to tap into the spark of potential in every student. When students see your enthusiasm, they will respond in kind. Shoot for the moon, but remember that for some students small steps may represent enormous achievements. And finally, teaching requires a significant commitment of time that can easily overshadow other aspects of your life. Though not easy, it's possible to strike a balance between your personal life and work-related responsibilities.

What's the best thing about teaching?

The best part of teaching is watching students' self-esteem grow as they do things they never thought they could. Or seeing students so engaged in and excited during a discussion that they don't want to leave when the bell rings. And every once in a while, you'll be surprised by visits, letters, or emails from former (or current) students telling you of the positive impact you've made on their lives. These are just some of the moments that will touch your heart.