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Distinguished Teacher Stephen Kotleba

  • Dodson Middle School
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • General Education
  • 6th - 8th


What advice would you give to people considering a career in teaching?

For the new teacher I would advise them to make a very solid first impression with your administration early! I would also advise them to be very stern but not heartless, clear on classroom rules and class objectives at the very start of the year. Students are human beings as we are and deserve respect, however as a teacher we understand that they must give it in order to get it as well. And lastly, I would advise new teachers to not volunteer for anything within the school unless it is a passion they hold.

What's the best thing about teaching?

The best thing about teaching in my opinion is the ability to shape and mold a young person's paradigm in order to better understand situations that surround them. In doing this you give them a better opportunity to make educated decision that will benefit not only themselves but others in their immediate surroundings. If the correct decisions are not made humiliating circumstances that teach the best lessons are created and eventually great habits and convictions are formed for the individual.


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