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Distinguished Teacher Debbie Martin

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

As a new teacher, you need to realize that you won't get everything right in the first month, year, or even 10 years! Be open to new ideas and suggestions - think outside the box and start each day with the mindset, "What am I going to learn today?" Being flexible and willing to "change your mind" when in a situation that requires quick thinking or redirecting of a student is vital. Always greet your students and their parents with a positive attitude; demonstrate patience, respect, and kindness (even in the most trying of situations!). Continuously work on finding strategies to motivate your students (music, movement, drama, humor), as well as behavior management skills that work for you. Finally, be sure that you are really passionate about teaching - your students will know it if you are!

What's the best thing about teaching?

The best thing about teaching is knowing that I have made a difference in a child's life. I also love being that positive role model they will always remember. Forming relationships with students and the staff I work with is also very rewarding. The enthusiasm and excitement when sharing ideas with others that are just as passionate as you, is beyond words.