Naomi Johnson-Booker is the CEO of the Global Leadership Academy Charter School in Philadelphia. Global Leadership Academy Charter School (GLA) is a kindergarten through eighth grade school. It is a holistic teaching and learning program. Global Leadership Academy strives to provide a strong educational program created through global studies and leadership development in an effort to create future leaders.

(Photo Courtesy of Naomi Johnson-Booker)

(Photo Courtesy of Naomi Johnson-Booker)

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

“In 2015, teachers face many challenges, particularly in urban education. Some of those challenges include large class sizes, children not prepared to enter school due to lack of early childhood education, classroom supply shortages, and reduced state funding that filters into the classroom.”

“And, just as important, major challenges that impact the entire classroom environment include those generated by the students’ home settings and create circumstances that impact the child emotionally, intellectually and academically. Those home environment issues can range from matters faced by low-income households such as children unable to have breakfast at home or coming to school after a sleepless night due to tension in the home.”

“Teachers need to be cognizant of what is going on in each child’s life; and that’s where the classroom environment connects to home. To meet those challenges, teachers must be able—and want to—teach holistically. Therefore, teaching must be a passion. Regardless of the challenges, an excellent teacher can turn any environment into a ‘million dollar classroom’ with a passion, mission and desire to positively affect and change the lives of children.”

Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?

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“Absolutely. Teachers need to keep up-to-date on new programs, initiatives and strategies. If teachers can best influence students to become lifelong learners if they are committed to becoming the same themselves.”

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

“Yes. Here’s what we’ve found at Global Leadership Academy Charter School: Teachers who have earned master’s degrees have certified themselves within their professions. Obtaining a master’s degree is a key part of being a lifelong learner and a necessary component of teaching children to become the same. Teachers who earn master’s degrees bring back to the school knowledge, resources and skills, which enhance the entire teaching environment. A master’s degree is best put to use in a school environment that provides meaningful professional development. The combination of the two along with a genuine passion for teaching are key to creating excellent teachers.”

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

“Teaching is not a ‘job,’ it’s a career and a passion. You are the person who will change the trajectory of families and children by what you do in the classroom. If you choose to go into the profession, be sure that during your sophomore year in college to find a program that allows you to go into school to tutor and become part of the school’s network. Seek mentors, build relationships, and observe what other teachers are doing right as well as where they come up short. Work with children and grow your passion. Do not enter the field for the sake of obtaining a job, enter it to follow your passion through a lifelong career path.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as; Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at

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