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Many educators were passionate about making the career choice to become a teacher at a young age. Teaching takes a special breed of person, one who is patient and selfless. Tim Lightman, head of school at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, believes in nurturing the varied relationships that encompass the school community.

(Photo Courtesy of Tim Lightman)

(Photo Courtesy of Tim Lightman)

What is the most challenging aspect of teaching in the classroom environment?

“I think that depends upon where you are in your teaching career. For novice teachers, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to manage a group of children while simultaneously creating a professional identity as a teacher.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to enter into the teaching profession?

“For people thinking of entering the profession, my advice would be to consider what it is that makes you want to become a teacher. If possible, find a school whose values and beliefs about teaching and learning align with yours. Also, don’t be afraid to fail.”

Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?

“Continuing education courses are as critical to teaching as they are to any other profession. In my career as an administrator, I’ve worked with teachers at every level of experience and I always enter into these relationships with a belief that everyone is always learning – including myself.”

Do you feel a master’s of education would be helpful in this career?

“A master’s in education is very helpful and a signifier of teaching as a profession, in that a graduate degree both confers prestige and increases salaries. Financial support to teachers who pursue a master’s degree is always an extra incentive.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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