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Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs in the world, it is also one of the most rewarding. At a very young age, Dr. Steve Buuck chose to devote his life to teaching and is now the Chief Executive Officer of Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School in Las Vegas.
He began his lifelong career in teaching as a high school English teacher, moving into the roles of coach and administrator. After he obtained his bachelor’s in education, he went on to pursue an MBA and a PhD in Educational Leadership. Buuck manages the day-to-day operations of the private school but still takes time to mentor students and young teachers.
What made you decide to become an educator?
“Both of my parents were teachers and I saw the joy they received from teaching. In high school, I had a lot of admiration for my high school English teacher and it was these great role models that influenced my decision to become a teacher.”
What are the biggest challenges in the classroom?
“Children today are bombarded with content from the media 24/7. They are constantly on their phones or in front of a computer. Teachers have to be dynamic enough to grab students’ attention and engage them in learning. I think it is also important to encourage collaboration, getting kids to work together through project-based learning.”
You have been both a teacher and a coach. What is the key to working with young people?
“Give respect to the kids first and they will respect you. If you are not genuine, they will see right through you. You have to make sure you don’t tell kids one thing and do another. Hold yourself accountable to the same rules and you will earn their ultimate respect.”
What advice would you give to a prospective teacher?
“Don’t do it if you don’t love it. You can’t fool kids into thinking you are passionate about teaching. Don’t do it for the money. Being a teacher is so important and very rewarding and if you do it for the right reasons, everything will fall into place. Teachers should also commit to be lifelong learners. I also suggest teachers get in some classroom time before pursuing a masters or doctorate degree. It is important to get in some life experience when it comes to teaching at higher levels.”
Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Christa has been a Las Vegas resident for more than 20 years. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.