Do you recall the old expression, if at first you don’t succeed try, and try again? This expression fits the last few years of my life to a T.
My education career began when I graduated from college merely two years ago with a bachelor’s degree in childhood education 1-6 and a concentration in Spanish. Two days after my graduation date, I had my first interview. Naturally, I was told I did not have enough experience under my belt.
After a few more interviews, I decided it was best to begin substituting. I worked in five different school districts. I also began my master’s studies at Niagara in TESOL that fall.
It wasn’t before long when I ran into an English as a new language (ENL) teacher through Erie 1 Boces, who recommended me for a LTS (long-term substitute) position working with English language learners K-5. I thoroughly loved the position and was pleased that this was the path I chose for my second degree in education. That following spring, I worked as a LTS 6th grade reading teacher until the end of the year.
It was at the beginning of this year when I really started to weigh my options. After going on many different interviews for elementary classrooms and TESOL positions, I chose to accept another LTS ENL position at Medina CSD. I worked in Medina until November and, once again, I was on the hunt for my own classroom. I stumbled upon Batavia Jackson Primary, which was in need of an ENL teacher for their K-1 students. I was offered the position at the first interview right before Christmas break.
On my first day of work, I sent an email to every teacher, professor and individuals I can now call friends thanking them for their continued support over the last few years. I ended the email saying “we did it!”
Since that day, I have worked rigorously in my classroom, setting it up exactly how I imagined it would be someday. I have had the luxury to take on 10 darling English language learners K-1 students who, ironically, are all girls. The students come from different backgrounds and languages spoken in the home such as Spanish, Hindu, and Chinese.
Since January, I have also become familiar with parents in the Batavia community and begun assisting a colleague in teaching adult ESOL classes. This all has been my dream for many years and I am so thankful it has all happened for me.
When Niagara University’s College of Education asked if I would be interested in sharing my story, I thought, absolutely. All through my studies in college you would hear “there are no jobs in education,” “or you will have to move out of state,” “or don’t become a teacher!” I am here to say that there are jobs, you do not have to move and being a teacher is the most rewarding job there is. In fact, “teaching is the career that makes all other careers possible.”
I thank Niagara for this opportunity to share my story and for preparing me to pursue this career path, as I will be graduating this May 2017.