Teaching Found Me

It feels like I have been doing this teaching thing FOREVER!

I even fell into it by accident. I was a business major at my local community college. My business law & ethics professor encouraged me to apply to law school. He said I had a natural “knack” for it. I valued his opinion and for about 6 months researched law school. Attempted to figure out how I would pay for it because…law school.

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Photo by Vanessa Bucceri on Unsplash

At the time I was working part time at a clothing store in the mall. It wasn’t great, but helped pay for necessities. An acquaintance mentioned that there was a position open at a daycare center not too far from my school. I decided to give it a try as I was ALWAYS the family babysitter. Not to mention, I love children. I took the job working with 3 & 4 year-olds, and was the happiest I had been as a 19-20 year old worker. Everyone noticed this and constantly reminding me that this new job “looked good on me”.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I can be extremely stubborn at times as well as needing to make sure my decisions are my own. I bucked other’s constant reminders of how much I liked my job and continued on with my business degree.

With one semester left and still needing to decide on a potential business/law school, I changed my major to general education so that I could transfer into an education program at the University. I graduated community college with over 120 credit hours. During university, I had 3 minors along with my major in education: English, History, TESOL.

What can I say, I loved (still do!) school and learning.

At the University of New Mexico, we did 3 semesters of student teaching. First semester was one day a week. Second Semester was two days a week. 3rd semester was full time and when you did your practicum. My first semester was in a 3rd grade classroom. My second second semester was in a 2nd grade dual language classroom. Fifty percent of the time in English, and the other fifty in Spanish.

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I hated both experiences. Had decided I would finish because I had one semester left. I would just go back to school and figure out what I really wanted to do.

But I was NOT going to teach.

One of my professor mentioned this program we could apply for called the Golden Apple Scholarship. He was an amazing professor! His classes will be some of my most memorable. I applied and got this scholarship which provided PD and paid us to co-teach summer school. This program and the cohort leaders changed me and my desire to teach.

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Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

I ventured out of my comfort zone and decided I would try to work with Middle School students. For about a month, I taught 6th graders (almost 7th graders) math. I loved it! I loved them! Their personalities, connecting with them,  and discovering ways to make Math fun.

I petitioned my advisor to place me in a different school teaching middle schoolers. Classmate disgruntling aside, I was moved to a different school. There I had a mentor teacher that was so passionate, helpful, and understanding. She let me fall flat on my face. Never intervened, but helped pick me up along the way.

I’ve been teaching middle school since January 2007, and in August 2018, I began teaching high school and loving it!  I have also been the Personal Project Coordinator since August of 2019 and it is, to me, the heart and soul of the MYP program. I have made some of the most wonderful friends along the way, created a great PLN, and worked with spectacular people. I couldn’t be where I am today without those who helped me when teaching chose me.

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