Youth advocate and parental engagement expert, Connie K. Grier, is the author of the book, “The ABC’s Of Mentoring: A Bi-weekly Road Map for Uplifting Youth.” Grier has been professionally engaged in education and educational management within the Philadelphia community for more than 20 years possessing a strong commitment to social justice, adults in education and parental engagement. She continues to service the children of several school districts through her non-profit organization, The RESPECT Alliance, and through CKG Consulting, her educational consulting firm.

(Photo Courtesy of Connie K. Grier)

(Photo Courtesy of Connie K. Grier)

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

“The most challenging aspect of teaching in the classroom environment is having a class roster of 20-35 students who may each be on a different level academically. This makes for challenging experiences as an educator who works toward successfully following a lesson plan or obtaining a district wide goal.”

Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?

“The benefit of continuing education courses depends upon their content.The courses should be selected with care, and should address a need or a growth area of the educator.”

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

“A master’s in education is helpful day-to-day as it can support and promote your growth personally and professionally within your chosen career. Particularly in education, a master’s degree can allow an educator to focus more intently on a chosen aspect of their career, or support promotion and growth from one level on the career level to the next.”

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

“You should enter the teaching profession only if it is your passion. So many educators enter the field because they feel that academically, they are masters of their craft, experts at their content. Without a passion for supporting student success, without respect for children, and without excellent communication skills, educators might begin to feel like coming to work is drudgery.”

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

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