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Distinguished Teacher Amanda VonKleist

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

Make sure you take good care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually so that you can be truly present for your students and your family. Value and respect the experiences, challenges, values, and special gifts that each student brings to your classroom, even when they are very different from your own. Be ready to continually learn, grow and adapt in the swiftly changing world of education. Teaching is a vocation only for people who are never finished reflecting and re-envisioning, and who never want to be.

What's the best thing about teaching?

What I love about teaching most is talking with kids each day, reflecting on what they teach me, and allowing them to inform my practice. I wake up each day knowing that students will make me laugh, wonder, problem solve, imagine, and worry. What other job comes with as many challenges, surprises and rewards?