School began at the university again last week. It is difficult to believe that another school year has begun. I am teaching an "Introduction to Teaching" course this semester and I have a wonderful group. I am thrilled with the caliber of people who are considering being a teacher. It always reminds me of the hope I have for the best people to be in the classroom. I know it doesn't always happen because a teacher's salary is not very tempting, at least in my state. It is also a demanding and difficult job at times. I hope, however, that most of these top students decide to stick it out and become an educator. It sometimes becomes difficult for me to put a positive spin on negative reports in the media. But, I just try to constantly remind them that the most magical place on earth can be an effective classroom, because it changes a child's life. Many of the folks in my class this morning are there because they had a great teacher who made their life better. I wish all teachers realized what a difference they can make.
I was also thinking this week about my student teachers from last year who are now beginning their teaching career in a classroom. What an experience they are having and will continue to have if they keep their focus on why they decided to teach. Some of the best people I have ever met were in that group and I know they will influence lives for the better.
The best and the brightest, with the focus on the kids, makes all the difference for a child.