In a recent ceremony on the White House lawn, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Shanna Peeples of Amarillo, Texas said, “Now is the time to go into education if you want to make a difference.” With hundreds of teaching positions still open in San Francisco, those are encouraging words. Even with assistance from local non-profits, like Teach for America, the city needs more educators at every level, particularly K-12. Fortunately, many students across the Bay Area are poised to graduate soon and can help fill the need for more teachers. For career advice, Hai Tran, a math teacher at Everest Public High School and a KTSF Teaching Fellow, took some time to share his thoughts.
What is your background and education?
“I was raised in Sacramento, California. I studied math at the University of California, Berkeley and math education at Stanford University.”
What classes do you teach at Everest Public High School?
“I teach an integrated Geometry and Algebra 2 course at Everest Public High School.”
What career advice can you offer to students interested in becoming an educator?
“While I am still at the beginning of my career, the best advice that I’ve received from seasoned teachers centers around embracing a long-term perspective of a career in teaching. Rightfully so, many teaching candidates want to do the best for our students every single day—even if this means working 12-hour days, skipping meals, or spending hours planning a lesson. While still keeping the spirit of this desire alive, seasoned teachers have helped me to view my work as a marathon. That is, I am learning the value of staying rejuvenated after 60+ hour work weeks and maximizing collaboration time with other teachers, to ensure that I can remain in this meaningful profession for many years to come.
“In addition, while it is important to structure memorable lessons, students will likely remember their relationships and daily interactions with teachers. As passionate as I am about teaching functions, for instance, I bear in mind that students will mostly remember my relationships with them, my belief in them, and my encouragement in 10, 20 years from now.
“Lastly, in embracing a long-term perspective of a career in teaching, I have found it essential to join teacher educator networks – such as a local teacher community or the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, which can serve as tremendous support systems early in a teacher’s career.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.