Being a teacher takes passion and dedication. Teachers need to be nurturing and patient, and that is not something you learn in the classroom. These are key qualities someone must possess to be successful in the field. Gina Shah, Director of Education at Huntington Learning Center in Philadelphia, finds it very important to nurture children’s needs in order to help them turn into strong learners.

(Photo Courtesy of Gina Shah)

(Photo Courtesy of Gina Shah)

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

“I have found that the most challenging aspect of working in a classroom environment is class size. Many teachers are facing growing classroom sizes, causing them to deal with too many students. Studies show that class size is detrimental only beyond a certain number. When there are too many students in a classroom, it becomes difficult for the teacher to give every student in his/her classroom enough attention.”

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

“I think anyone looking to become a teacher needs to have a sincere passion for education and a commitment to working with kids. Children are complex and they require a lot of nurturing and attention. It is within the nature of a child to be demanding. It is our role as educators to help nurture children’s needs and help turn them into strong learners.”

Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?

“I believe that continuing education courses are beneficial. Anything that someone can do to become a stronger teacher is useful. Continuing education is a great way to reinforce previously learned as well as incremental skills.”

Do you feel a master’s in education would be helpful in your day-to-day career?

“Having a master’s degree in education is beneficial to your day-to-day career. The incremental knowledge adds to the teacher-student relationship. In general, teachers with master’s degrees are paid more, but ‘getting a bump in pay’ should not be the sole determinant in a person getting a degree.” 

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

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