Teach100 Mentors: Expertise from Professionals

Teach100 Mentors: ExpertiseIf you could tell a newcomer any one thing about your job, what would it be?

That’s what we asked the education professionals of the Teach100 community as part of our new Teach100 Mentor series. Education is a demanding line of work, but certain tricks of the trade can ease the way--and lucky for you, we’ve sourced ours from the best: Teach100 Mentors with an average of 10-20+ years of full-time experience working in education.

We organized their answers into the following categories, but the question we asked everyone was the same. Here’s what our Teach100 Mentors have to say to new and aspiring education professionals.

“What is one piece of advice you would like to offer new or aspiring education professionals?”

On Professional Development and Networking:

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“Do as many classroom observations as possible! This is a great way to observe different teaching styles and methodologies. It will be much easier to find your own style after observing a variety of teachers at work.”
Mike Karlin, The Ed Tech Roundup


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“My advice for aspiring education professionals is two-fold. First, enhance your learning opportunities by connecting to a PLN (personal learning network). Second, transparently share your learning with others. Become a digital contributor to learning.”
– Robert Schuetz, The Archer’s Blog


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“Watch other teachers as often as you can. Then take what you liked best about their work and use it in your own way.”


“I would share that the power of connecting and collaborating and having a mentor is essential to their success.”
– Lisa Michelle Dabbs, Teaching With Soul


“Get as much experience as you can! Take advantage of internships, student teaching, and professional development opportunities that provide hands-on practice, as well as connections to more experienced educators.”
– Melissa Venable, Inside Online Learning


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“Build relationships with colleagues and students, and keep learning!”
– Lisa Wells, Wonder of Children


“Never stop learning, be a student yourself. Always be looking for ways to improve your craft — local PLC, online PLN, professional organizations, journals, books.”
– Glenn Wiebe, History Tech



On Effective Management and Leadership:

“Understand your organization's overarching goals, and define your personal goals. Make sure you stay true to both, and try hard not to sweat the small stuff.”
– Gene Tognetti, Common Core & Ed Tech


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“Stay current, and innovative. Look for ways to engage students in ways to create authentic learning experiences.”
– Patricia Brown, MSED Techie


“Take your class outside as much as possible. They and you will benefit.”
– Juliet Robertson, Dirty Teaching


“Treat your students and your colleagues with respect. If you respect them, they'll respect you and you won't have to work so hard to keep their attention.”
– Michael Fricano II, EdTechnocation


“Pause to look back at the lesson you have just taught, or are planning to teach: Did your students learn anything? Were they engaged? Motivated? How do you know? How can you help them more? Write down the answers to these questions. Repeat daily. Magic will happen!”
– Zhenya Polosatova, Wednesday Seminars


“Remember that nothing can be taught — learning can only be facilitated.”
– Kerstin Hammes, Fluent



On Work/Life Balance

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“Despite public perception, teaching is not 8-3, with three months of vacation. Your workday starts well before 8:00 a.m. and often lasts well into the evening. Doing the job well takes considerable time and effort.”
– Jason Bengs, EdTech Principal


“Work the hours you are paid for. Working for free (on your own time) is not the answer. You won't like your profession very long if you don't take time for yourself and do not live at school 24/7.”
– Penny Woods, Penniless Teacher


“Being an educator is hard work. There are many long hours and stressful days. To begin each day with those smiling faces in front of you, however, is well worth every minute of it.”
– Carol Miller, The Middle School Counselor

On Changes in Education:

"The [Common Core Standards] require a big paradigm shift for some teachers. You don't have to feel like it's an overhaul — we can take baby steps to shifting how we teach and learn."
- Dr. Jennifer R. Pieratt, Reimagining Education


“Rest assured that no one knows everything about technology any more. You're no longer required to be an expert; you are a facilitator, a researcher, an inquisitor, a learner.”
– Kristie Burk, Downingtown Tech Chat


“Learn as much about technology as you can. It will only make your work easier, will make you more relevant and engaging with your students, and will add another tool to your teaching tool box.”
– Mike Paul, PikeMall Tech


“Remember, every teacher has a responsibility to open their pupil's eyes to the plethora of jobs that are out there, not just the ones we see most days.”
– Janet Colledge, Careers Defender

On Students:

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“Don't let the “Wow Factor” overshadow the importance of relationships with students. Let the students have shared-control in the learning process.”
– Kelly Christopherson, Educational Discourse


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“The most essential lens for looking at every instructional, policy, or curricular decision we make is to view them through the eyes of our students. Challenge yourself to do the most good for them.”
– Christopher Lehman, ChristopherLehman.com


“Cultivate a growth mindset in your students. Teach them to set "SMART" goals and track their progress.”
– Sharon Thompson, Dream Workshop



On The Journey:

“It's a journey full of highs and lows. Sharing your journey can help you and countless others.”
– Ben Gilpin, The Colorful Principal


“Be willing to make mistakes and be willing to take risks.”
– Dr. Justin Tarte, Life of an Educator


“Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.”
– Ilona Hetsevich, JoomlaLMS eLearning Blog


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Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's — follow the rules you must follow, but do what you think is right when you can. Look for opportunities where others are afraid to act.”
– Eric Wearne, EricWearne.com


“Always remember that everything you do and say affects those around you.”
– David Ellena, A Principal’s Life


“Keep learning and keep improving. We "practice" education like doctors "practice" medicine. We learn from each other and we improve over time. No teacher should be expected to know everything in their first year of teaching.”


“Unless you are passionate about teaching, don't bother.”


“Be uniquely you, stay motivated, seek help, and honor your own life story and what led you to teaching.”
– Andy Vasily, PYP PE With Andy
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