When people think about becoming a teacher, they often think about a steady job, good benefits and the “highly revered” summers off. And for some, getting a Texas Alternative Teacher Certification is the means to this end.
My family and I have been involved in teaching for decades, both in the classroom and in helping Texas teachers get certified. We know how easy it is to get caught up in all the tasks that need to be completed to get certified.
But a recent story I read reminded me of why my family and I are so passionate about helping teachers get certified...because one person can make a major difference in the future of someone else’s life.
Manny Scott, an author and educational consultant, lived in a broken home and his family was in constant poverty. His father was incarcerated, he had missed 60 to 90 days of school each year from fourth to ninth grade and dropped out at the age of 14. By age 16, he had already lived in 26 places.
When his best friend was brutally murdered, he felt that his life was over. One day, a stranger sat next to him on a park bench and encouraged him to take another path in life...to create a different story for his life.
That day changed his life, and he decided to go back to school with a new attitude and purpose. He found teachers willing to help him and created a new vision for his life.
Today, he has written three books that show others how to create the life of their dreams and founded an education consulting firm that empowers people to improve the quality of not only their own lives, but also the lives of those around them.
It is a powerful story of a life that could have gone in another direction.
It is the student who can’t focus, because there is conflict at home.
It is the student who is hungry, because he is living in poverty.
It is the student who feels like an outsider, because he is living in a home for children who have been abandoned or neglected.
It is the student who struggles to learn, because of learning disabilities.
It is the student who was brought to this country and doesn’t speak english well.
It is the student who just loves learning.
Whatever the circumstance, students look to you for learning, guidance and inspiration. So, if you feel the calling to become a teacher, focus on the things you need to do to get that Texas teacher certification, but remember that the true gift you will receive is knowing that you made the difference in a student’s life from a job well done.
Or as Manny Scott says:
“Humble yourself and become a student of your students. Even on your worst day, you can still be somebody’s best hope. … Every single day that you wake up, teach like it’s your last lesson.”
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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