Karen A. Schade is the principal of School Lane Charter School in Bensalem, PA. Schade earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and a principal certificate from the University of Pennsylvania. She continues her education at Penn, where she is in the process of earning her doctorate degree in educational leadership.

(Photo Courtesy of Karen A. Schade)

(Photo Courtesy of Karen A. Schade)

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

“The greatest challenge for teachers is tapping into each child’s unique way of learning based on each student’s interests and skill level in each subject. It also is the most important aspect of teaching today. To differentiate instruction for each child, teachers must create a classroom environment in which students are accountable for their own learning. Teachers must be skilled at classroom management in order to meet with small groups or individual students while the rest of the class works independently.”

Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?

“Teachers must constantly be evolving in their craft to remain current from a research perspective. The only way to go about doing that is through some form of continuing education. The most beneficial professional development can take place in a teacher’s own classroom and school. There are opportunities every day for teachers to learn from the work of their students.”

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Do you feel a masters in education would be helpful in your day-to-day career?

“Master’s degree programs propel teachers to a higher level of their profession. For many teachers, this is the first time they begin using data and statistics and scientifically-based research to analyze their classrooms and refine their pedagogics. Earning a master’s degree will open a teacher’s eyes and mind to consider many other options for their classroom and students.”

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

“Be absolutely sure you are passionate about teaching and want to be a lifelong learner, and possess the dedication and personality needed to succeed. Teachers do not stop working at 3 p.m. every day and are not off the entire summer. Teachers are always learning and thinking about how to improve their teaching and how to make a difference in the lives of their students. They spend countless hours developing great lessons at night and on weekends. Teachers must stay up-to-date and be well-versed in the subjects they teach and have an engaging personality to bring those subjects to life for their students.”

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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 http://firstsendmedia.com/