What are the key factors for student success in school and later in life? This question is often discussed in educational journals and web articles. The question has too many answers to name, but off-hand I would suggest some of the most frequently mentioned: resilience, creativity, collaboration, adaptability, curiosity, grit, social-emotional intelligence, and self-advocacy. Though these attributes are very important, the quality of education students receive also is a key factor. Teachers play a major role in a student’s experience at school and whether or not that student feels successful.
As an LD Online article put it, “Teachers have a very significant, lifelong impact on all of their students. This impact involves not only the teaching of particular academic skills, but as importantly, the fostering of student self-esteem. Reinforcing self-esteem in the classroom is associated with increased motivation and learning.”
When I think back to my own personal experience in K-12, I remember the teachers who had the most positive impact on my personal growth and development.There was Miss Hoffman, a 7th-grade English teacher who allowed the students to act out famous Shakespeare works and encouraged creativity through many active learning experiences. Then in high school, I struggled with math concepts until I was fortunate enough to be in the Humpke brothers’ classes. One taught Geometry and, across the hall, the other taught Algebra III. I actually liked Geometry and did quite well in spatial relationships, but I really hit the wall when I was in Algebra III. I must have gone in every day after school to work out the problems on the board with Mr. Humpke. He was super-positive, kind, and patient. I started the semester with D’s and was earning A’s towards the middle of the semester. Now, that made me feel great!
I was fortunate enough to go to school in a highly rated district in Wisconsin with lots of quality teachers who cared about their students and doing their jobs well. I was also fortunate enough to have a supportive family. A combination of these influencers drew me towards a career in education, specifically Special Education. I taught K-6 education students as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) elementary students. I found this work to be extremely rewarding. I like to help others, and continued to do so when I left the classroom and entered the education industry. For more than 10 years I worked in sales, marketing, and product development at various companies.
Then I began my own consulting business, working with edtech and education companies to better position their products and services in school districts. I feel so fortunate to be in a field that I love. At PR with Panache! I am with great people who are all committed to our mission of serving clients, thus contributing to a student’s growth journey in education. I continue to help organizations reach the schools, administrators, teachers, and, most of all the students, to help spark their learning and reach their full potential. Working at PR with Panache! fulfills my personal goals of working with dedicated clients who are improving education with their products and helping them succeed in their mission.