2018 Educator of the Year winner Richard Embrick shares what made him decide to become an educator.
Why did you decide to become an educator?
I became an educator to inspire children, unlock their “untapped” hidden talent, and instill a love for learning for all.
What trait do great educators possess?
Great educators are lifelong learners. They are passionate and embrace all children. They show care, commitment, and trust in everything they do. However, I also believe a great educator brings perspective to the students they teach so that students see failure not as an act of defeat but as an area of opportunity. In my teaching, I bring perspective to my students so that they will be willing to take risks to solve societal problems. My students feel safe to make mistakes, and we celebrate failures as a part of learning, not a roadblock.
What do you think makes a great educator?
A great educator nurtures our young people. A great educator makes a difference in students’ lives so that they will someday change this world for the better. This is my mission in life. To this day, it continues to be my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve the children in my community. Watching my students develop skills in problem solving, innovation, critical thinking, and logic brings me a sense of accomplishment. That alone is the greatest reward and motivation an educator could ever ask for.
Who inspired you when you were in school?
I had several teachers in school that I enjoyed learning from; however, it was my wife who inspired me to become a teacher. I watched as my wife made huge differences in the children who needed her—and not just as a teacher. She inspires children to believe in themselves and to pursue dreams they thought were unreachable.
Why did you decide to teach science and technology?
I have always loved learning about the natural world, so teaching science was a natural fit for me. After teaching for three years in Alief ISD, I joined Fort Bend ISD knowing that it had a limited program that introduced STEM to only students who had been identified as gifted and talented. After winning a national grant, I created the first robotics and engineering course in Fort Bend ISD for nontraditional STEM and minority students. I wanted to create opportunity and open doors for all children, especially underrepresented and nontraditional students, to pursue careers in the STEM fields.
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