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Recruiting the Future: Three Bits of Advice from Educators

Early this past week, I had the opportunity to speak to over 100 high school students interested in a career in education at Ft Hays State University (KS). It was quite inspiring to see young minds interested in the vocation I have made my life. While I certainly felt I had expertise in the area, 26 years of public education should qualify, I wanted to get more perspective for them than just mine. I reached out to over 30 educators across North America asking what they might share with high school students who wanted to be teachers.

“We need the next chapter of new, energetic, positive influences! The greatest gift is to share your life story and children to make their own story with you being part of the journey” Nick Edwards

I’m grateful to have the connections and relationships I have built, and in this case extremely honored to receive from so many thoughts, words, and inspirational stories to pay forward to young, prospective educators. In essence, their words could be summarized into three key bits of advice:

  1. Do what you love
    • “Follow your passion to your purpose” Dr. Frank Rudnesky.
    • “Look past the negativity around us at the moment. I love what I do and can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. If you like connecting with people, it is a really great way to spend your life” – Brian Redmond
    • “It’s hard, exhausing work but if you invest in the relationships teaching works a lot better.” Paul Dols
  2. Never stop learning
    • “I hire for coachability, collaborative ability, character-centeredness, and competence” Dr. Chad Lang
    • “Learn all you can about child and adolescent psychology” Charle Peck
    • “Trust in who you are. So often we fall into shouldville and thinking who we should be instead of trusting and honoring the person we are.” Lindsay Titus
  3. Make an impact
    • “Your teachers worry about you, lose sleep about you, and plan their lessons around you” Melissa Skinner
    • “Be the teacher you needed when you walked into the classroom” from Andrea Bitner
    • “Be someone’s champion. Build relationships, be involved” Bruce Metz

In addition to speaking with the high school students, I had a chance to visit with teacher education students at Ft Hays State University later in the day. We spoke about many topics, including administrative support, growth opportunities, and many others. Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of Leaning into Leadership where I answer four of the student’s questions.

I was inspired that entire day by the young minds I was blessed to speak to. Our future is in good hands. This is the generation to take education to the next level, into its new chapter. As my friend Bradlee W Skinner wrote, “students need new vision and new ideas from their teachers.”

In the end, we must speak positively of our profession to continue to inspire this generation to follow in our footsteps and move education forward. When we do that, they will discover this “calling/profession is indeed life saving” Katie Kinder.

Have a #RoadToAwesome week


To celebrate National Principals Month, we are running a special promotion on my book Road to Awesome: The Journey of a Leader. Hit the link and use the code FOBA to get the book for only $20 and free shipping. Click here to purchase the autographed copy.

Tune in this week to “Leaning into Leadership” where my guest is Maxwell Roach.

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