Caston is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur.
Caston Binger joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers and entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Caston join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Caston Binger, who has been an educator for over 15 years, has just opened a virtual tutoring business. Throughout his career, he has taught students in elementary, particularly those in the 3rd through the 6th grade.
Aside from handling his virtual tutoring business, Caston is currently a Teacher on Special Assignment in the elementary school of the Rochester City School District. As such, he provides support for all students and collaborates with other schools staff to promote a safe and inclusive learning environment.
Prior to his present roles in business and at school, he worked as a Response to Intervention (RTI) Teacher where he identifies struggling students. From there, he would monitor their development and assign them customized plans that will help them thrive in school. His responsibilities as a previous RTI Teacher helped prepare him for his role now as a Teacher on Special Assignment.
Furthermore, before establishing a career in teaching, Caston worked as a youth counselor at a local YMCA. Through this experience, he developed a passion for working with students and for guiding them as they build a future for themselves. So ever since he started teaching, it has always been his top priority to provide students all the resources and support that they may need because he believes that doing so will largely impact their holistic development.
This time, by offering virtual tutorials, he aims to continuously provide them the chance to maximize opportunities for learning despite the pandemic. In addition, he wants to help ease the situation for parents who are having a difficulty in assisting their children with homeschooling.
When the COVID-19 Pandemic broke out last year, it caused uncertainty and fear in many people. The disease claimed so many lives in just a short period of time and caused many people around the world to lose their jobs and businesses. But one of the biggest problems it brought was a disruption in education. When WHO declared it as a pandemic, schools also had to be closed to ensure the safety of students and staff. Because of this, many adjustments have to be made, including the conduct of online classes or homeschooling.
For the past two years, schools have had to make adjustments and modifications to create effective modules and set up online classes. On the other hand, parents had to make time to assist their children with schooling at home. This setup has been very stressful for many, especially for single parents and those who are trying to cope up because of the income they lost last year.
Apart from all these things, the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant made the situation worse mainly because children below the age of 12 are not yet eligible for any of the vaccinations that are now available. Despite their vaccinated parents having protection against experiencing the severe symptoms of COVID-19, this new variant does not spare the children. According to the CDC, the Delta variant causes more infections because it spreads faster compared to the previous mutations of the SAR-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
As a result, more parents are getting anxious about sending their children back to school without any vaccinations authorized for them. And just like when the pandemic started, parents and children continue to face issues about the opening of the new school year and with homeschooling. Thus, there is a growing need for viable options that will enable parents to focus on their work and other responsibilities at home without compromising their children's education.
Seeing this as an opportunity to continue helping more students in the midst of the situation that the world is facing, Caston is now focused on establishing his new virtual tutoring business.
Q: How did you get started in teaching?
Part of what inspired me to become a teacher is my experience as a youth counselor at a local YMCA. During that time, I worked with students in the after-school program which I really enjoyed. By helping them accomplish their assignments and projects, I developed a passion for supporting students and helping them thrive in school.
From there, my career in teaching began as I moved to Rochester, New York. For more than 15 years, I have handled 3rd through 6th-grade classes before taking on a leadership role as a Teacher on Special Assignment. With this new role and my virtual tutoring business, I hope to support more students by extending help to those who are in need of tutors that will help them and their families adjust and cope up with the "new normal" setup of schooling.
Q: What motivates you?
What keeps me grounded and inspires me to keep going is the outcome of my efforts as a teacher and school leader. Through the years, I've seen how teachers impact the lives of children and I believe that becoming the best in what we do equates to a brighter future for them. As teachers, we don't only share knowledge with them. Instead, we also serve as their support system just like their parents. And by introducing and simplifying different concepts, we are preparing them for the complexities of life. So as long as I can, I will continue teaching and finding ways to provide students all the resources they need to learn and succeed.
Q: What is one difficulty you have to face in your career and how did you overcome it?
Just like with everyone else, last year has been very difficult for us in the education sector. When the pandemic began, we had to make a lot of changes with our setup to continue serving students. It was very stressful knowing that we were given a little amount of time to create plans and effective instructional materials that will fit every student's needs. We spent a lot of time, effort, and resources to make things work because honestly, we didn't have any books to tell us how to navigate through this crisis that affected the world.
Nonetheless, I personally learned a lot from this experience. And I believe that I was able to get through all this in the past year because I held on to my purpose. No matter how hard the situation gets, I keep reminding myself of the legacy I'll be leaving behind as a teacher who helped his students thrive despite the threat and fear caused by the pandemic.
Q: What do you think makes you successful?
I believe that the road to success involves a lot of learning. Because of this, I always take advantage of all learning opportunities given to me. Aside from finishing my master's degrees at Niagara University, I make sure to consistently read about new strategies and emerging practices that will improve the quality of education that we are offering. Aside from that, I also attend seminars and workshops that will contribute to my professional development.
Q: How do you define success?
As an educator, I believe that success is being able to leave a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of young individuals. I can only say that I have succeeded in doing my purpose once I see my students develop their own desire to pursue their dreams and have a better future.
Q: What advice do you have for other educators just like you?
Our students need us now more than ever so we have to stay strong. Compared to us adults, they are more vulnerable, and social isolation is not making it any better. So as much as we can, I encourage every educator like me to be patient with them. Aside from that, let's try our best to provide them the support and resources they may need to promote student development because aside from their families, they look to us for encouragement.
Q: What is your favorite book and how did it affect the way you live your life?
One of the most remarkable books for me is the Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book, he explains how factors like legacy and a person's upbringing play important roles in his pursuit of success. Because of this book, I realized how important my role is in the lives of the children I teach. So I make sure to remain mindful of the actions and opinions that I share with my students because as a teacher, I know that these will leave an impact on them.
Q: What are your plans for the near future?
Through my current role at the elementary school, I am looking forward to developing the most effective and inclusive learning materials for students with the help of the principal and the rest of the teachers.
Furthermore, with the new business that I am working on, I want to help teachers, parents, and students who are in need of assistance. I know that this virtual tutoring business is a great opportunity for teachers who would like to have an extra source of income. But most importantly, this will be very helpful to parents who need help in teaching their children, especially with subjects that require specific expertise.
Caston Binger, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, nothing but the best.