Aaron Kooistra: When I was a lone officer for three years, I just wasn’t happy. I knew I didn’t want to do that forever.
Michael Bridges: I worked construction, honestly that job just wasn’t fulfilling anymore. I was wasting my career and my potential. I thought I could do something better.
Aaron Kooistra: But I’ve always just kind of got along with kids. I’ve always wanted to be the big kid who helps them out.
Michael Bridges: And at that point I probably would have sacrificed anything to be a teacher.
Linsey Owens: Teaching somebody is empowering them to be able to live a better life.
Anna Johnson: What makes me passionate about teaching is that I get to be involved in the process of a child’s growth, whether it’s reading, or math, but usually it’s the growth as a person.
Karen McGuirt: I love teaching children that are struggling and have confusions with reading and writing and seeing that light come on.
Kelly Wilson: And the smile, it’s like “I get it! I understand it! This is awesome!”
Linsey Owens: We can really influence people through teaching them.
Aaron Kooistra: If they don’t learn it now, it’s going to mess up their foundation forever.
Linsey Owens: And they need encouragement. They need you to support them but also show them guidelines and show them rules.
Michael Bridges: I try and teach them to be good to each other. You know, that we are all in this together. And I hope that what I do in the classroom is something they’re going to take out into the real world.
Karen McGuirt: And to develop a rapport with them and to genuinely care about the progress they make and the success that they have.
Leslie Moore: Because we know from research, the better you are building relationships with students and helping them connect to the content, the more effective your teaching will be.
Michael Bridges: So, my job here, and I’ve always said it isn’t just to educate the kids, it’s to teach them how to be human beings and maybe turn around and give something back.
Trisha Holliday: The reason I do what I do is to try to help all of those kids belong. To feel like they have a role to play here.
Michael Bridges: “If you want to make a difference. This is a great, great, great career to go into.
Linsey Owens: I think that’s probably the number one way to change anything is that you have to continue learning things so you can continue teaching.
Michael Bridges: It all pays off, because that first day you are in a classroom by yourself and it’s your classroom when you get a job, it’s amazing, because it’s you. It’s not somebody’s there to help you, or somebody’s there to tell you what to do or “I need you to do this”. It’s you. These are your kids, these are your responsibility and that’s a huge weight, but man, at the end of the day it’s worth it.
Anna Johnson: and I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather do professionally.