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San Diego, CA 92105 Phone: 619-265-2467
The Happy Tooth
MENTORS AND TEACHERS Where Do We Look for Advice?
When I first came to America from Vietnam at 16 years old, there were a lot of big culture shocks. One thing that really caught me off guard was how differently teachers were treated. In Vietnam, teachers are given a great deal of respect. There’s a big national holiday in Vietnam to celebrate teachers, and all
“Throughout my life, from high school through dental school and even today, I’ve experienced how important it is to have a mentor.”
the students come to school that day with presents for their teacher. Meanwhile, in my first class at an American high school, I was shocked that the students kept talking to each other even after the teacher walked in to start the lesson. I think we can all agree that teachers deserve way more credit than they get. They spend so much time educating our children and helping us learn and develop as we grow up. When school was particularly hard for me, a great teacher could make all the difference. I had many good teachers in Vietnam, but the first teacher to really stand out as a favorite in my mind was Mr. Baker, my junior year math teacher in America. Being in school was challenging because I didn’t know English that well, and Mr. Baker took the time to help me overcome that language barrier. He even went beyond his job as a math teacher, encouraging me to join the AP team for math to start getting college credit, and later helping me apply for colleges. Mr. Baker was my first favorite teacher in America, and he showed me the value of having a good teacher and mentor who supports you. Throughout my life, from high school through dental school and even today, I’ve experienced how important it is to have a mentor. If you want to learn or improve yourself, the best way to do that is by finding someone who is already really good at something you’re interested in. Today, with social media and the internet, it’s easy to locate experts in any subject. As a kid in school, your mentors often end up being whatever teachers or coaches you happen to have. As an adult, I have the ability to find the people who are the best at what they do, and who I most connect with.
Being able to choose my own mentors also means I’ve been able to evaluate where the advice I get is coming from. People love giving their opinions, but we’re not always the most qualified in a specific subject. For example, I love my parents to death and they’ve given me some really good advice
over the years, but despite never running their own business, when I started my practice, they decided to give me business advice. Let’s just say, their advice didn’t work out so well! I seek out mentors who can help me better run my business or improve in the field of cosmetic dentistry, because those are the areas I’m passionate about. Wherever your interests lie, be it your career path or your hobbies, I encourage you to seek out support from those
who can help you improve. You’ll be amazed by what you can achieve with some good advice.
–Dr. Justene Doan
September 2018 Edition
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