This educator spotlight on Nathan Inkenbrandt, a CCSD teacher supporting current paraprofessionals on their path to becoming licensed teachers through our Teacher Pathway program, is featured in “Along the Pathway”, our monthly Teacher Pathway newsletter. Each edition features updates regarding the Teacher Pathway program, participant and community partner spotlights, and programming goals our mentees are working towards that will support them in becoming dynamic educators in local classrooms. To receive the newsletter in your inbox each month, please email teacher.pathway@thepef.org.

Nathan Inkenbrandt is a mentor, teacher, and inspiration to many aspiring educators in the Teacher Pathway program. He joined the district as a long-term substitute in 2016 and quickly fell in love with teaching. In less than a year, he became a fully licensed teacher and has been making a positive impact on students’ lives ever since.

When asked about his journey to becoming a teacher, Nathan shared that he was watching the TV series “The OA” when he realized how much of a difference a teacher can make in someone’s life. That’s when he knew he needed to fulfill his existential need by becoming a teacher himself.

Nathan’s passion for teaching is reflected in his views on Eldorado High School’s motto, which challenges students to achieve their greatest potential for future success by providing a compelling learning experience through meaningful relationships and high-quality instruction. To Nathan, this means finding a school that shares your vision and making a priority of building a strong bond with your students.

As an educator, Nathan believes that teaching is a communal activity that requires more than one human to get a student across the graduation stage safely and ready to be there. The role of an educator is to build relationships, ignite the flames of learning, and open doors. Nathan shared that his experience in mentoring future educators has been incredible, and he feels honored to have the opportunity to help new and future educators succeed.

Nathan emphasizes the importance of professional development for educators because education is dynamic and ever-changing. By engaging in professional development, teachers can obtain valuable information and learn from like-minded educators nationwide, allowing them to become effective educators for all of their students.

Nathan’s training resources and wisdom for his mentees include the importance of connecting with students and other teachers, treating every student as an individual, and realizing the impact that teachers have on thousands of lives. His favorite thing about teaching is the feeling he gets when he knows he made a positive impact on a student’s life, and he hopes that his mentees are able to have the same joyful experience.

Mentees often encounter misinformation and opinionated people in the field of education, Nathan shared. His advice to those considering becoming educators is to build a network of support, especially including one safe person outside of education to talk to and one expert on the licensing process.

Nathan’s experience with the Teacher Pathway program has been incredible, and he highly recommends it to any support staff member looking to make their way into teaching. His support has a palpable impact on his mentees, giving them a collective sigh of relief and a sense of fresh air. Nathan is a mentor who inspires, empowers, and uplifts educators, making a positive impact on his educational community.