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More Positive Male Role Models

Tim Lewis has been teaching in Theodosia, Missouri for four years. Tim has always worked with children, but he wasn’t always set on a career in teaching. Prior to becoming a teacher, he was active in children’s ministry for nearly 20 years. During that time, he worked at local church camps, was active at a boys’ ranch, and—over a two-year period—housed 24 teen boys in need of shelter and support. Tim knows that many children don’t have in-person access to positive male role models, and it was this understanding that pushed him to become a teacher.

Tim says “I wanted the chance to work with children and show them the importance of having a positive male role model in education. So many of our students these days come from broken homes often where a father figure is not present. I just wanted an opportunity to show what a positive male should be like.” 

As Tim prepares for his 5th year teaching, it is clear that he has found his calling. When asked about his favorite part of being a teacher, Tim is quick with a reply. He says, “I love seeing the moment a student finally grasps a concept. I call it the light bulb moment. Sometimes students just need more time to ignite that light.”

Getting started

Tim already had a bachelor’s degree when he decided to pursue teaching. He started as a substitute teacher at the local school, and then became a paraprofessional.  About this experience in the classroom, Tim says, “I learned during those 2 years what I would and wouldn’t do in my classroom. I learned how to work with students of all academic abilities.”

To move from a paraprofessional to a full-time teacher with his own classroom, Tim had to earn his certification. He says “I met with a college recruiter and was informed that I could go back to college and pay for 4 more years. This wasn’t a good option for me being a full time employee, parent and children’s minister. I learned about American Board/ ABCTE through a flyer at the local library. I met an alumni member and I was super excited to get started.”

Only six months after finding that flyer, Tim had earned his certification! American Board’s program is completely online and offers a flexible timeline, which allowed Tim to progress on his own schedule. He says, “I walked into my first interview empty handed and walked out with a set of keys to my classroom.”

Tim Lewis started and completed American Board’s teacher certification program, and obtained a job within only six months!

Spreading Positivity

Keeping early elementary students entertained and engaged is not the easiest task. But Tim takes it all in stride. One tool Tim deploys to keep students excited about the week is the art of costumes. “I dress up every Thursday to greet everyone at the front door. I chose Thursday because we need that extra push to make it to Friday. Even the high schoolers will smile when they see my costume of the week.”

Tim’s passion for teaching has not gone unnoticed! His Youtube channel featuring his storytime lessons from home during the COVID-19 school closures was even featured in the local paper.

Tim records a message for his young students, who ended the 2019-2020 school year at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lessons to Share

Tim states that a big misconception about teaching is that all teachers teach the same way, daily, whether that be through lecturing or group work. But Tim says that “a teacher’s most important lesson is learning to be flexible.” 

When asked what other advice he has for new teachers, Tim has a wealth of knowledge. “Take time for yourself every single day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Realize that not everyday will go the way you want but you can decide how to start the day and end each day.  Look for a ray of sunshine every single day.  Keep a journal of memories that encourage you and that make you laugh.” 

Become A Teacher

If you’ve considered becoming a teacher and know that you could positively inspire students in your community, visit to learn how you can quickly and affordably earn your teacher certification.

Additionally, American Board’s Blog features the stories of many of our program graduates. Check it weekly for updates!

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