Equipping Future Teachers

Image of the Summer Institute Class of 2013At the end of the same week when I spoke at Vision 2020, I had the opportunity to present the keynote address at the Summer Institute. Every year, select pre-service teachers are gathered together to learn about developing character in their classrooms. The group this year was very impressive. These future teachers truly have a heart for students and have the desire to be the best teacher possible.

Each one of them was chosen. People believe in their ability and their character or they would not have been nominated and selected for the Institute.

They have a mission. Being a teacher is not easy and you certainly don’t choose this profession for the money! The mission is to teach and to change lives.

They have been given the key! Every teacher knows that competency is important – students need to learn the material. However, not everyone understands how to help students achieve mastery. During the Summer Institute they were given the key – developing character helps students learn to be thorough, creative, patient, attentive, all traits they need to be successful in school and in life. Character + Competence = Consistency. It’s like a 3-legged stool. Remove one and you are likely to topple over.

To close, I shared a quote from Dr. Jenny Preston, former superintendent of Allen Independent School District, in Allen, Texas. When I asked her why she went into education she replied “Find a job you love doing, learn to live within the means it provides, and you will never work a day in your life.” And that is so true. Every day when I go to work, I am amazed that people pay me to do this!

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