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Distinguished Teacher Kentaro Iwasaki

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

Get to know your students and let them get to know you so that your students know you care about them as people and learners--relationships are key! Smile, have fun, laugh, make jokes, and poke fun at yourself--no one likes a dull class! Admit when you're wrong and be quick to apologize--we are all learners in this together! Be adventurous with your lessons--real learning happens when we all take risks and ask big questions (especially when we may not know the answer or how students will get to their answer)! Expect to learn as much or more from your students as you expect they will from you--humility is key and students bring in a ton of resources that we can learn from if we just engage them in shaping their own authentic learning!

What's the best thing about teaching?

It is such a privilege to get to know students and have them share their lives with us, particularly during significant times in their lives of serious decision making. It is such a joy to engage students in meaningful and relevant work that impacts who they are, how they relate to others, and how they see the world around them (and their place in that world).