This is my story. I hope that it will bring you encouragement.
How I Became A Teacher
Trial And Error
As a teenager, I thought that I wanted to be a chef, a baker, or something like that. At the time, I made extra cash babysitting and running the daycare at the church. To pursue my dreams of chefdom, I went to a culinary arts school and found that the culinary world looked down on visually impaired chefs. I found it difficult to maneuver a large kitchen with forty-some individuals and many moving parts. With lost hope, I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my life.
So, my parents contacted the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB). They were able to help me narrow down what I wanted to do and started with some training and a full-time job at Safeway. It was okay for a while. The everyday repetitiveness of manual labor eventually got to me. I wanted to do something more with my life. I wanted to impact people in a BIG way.
How I Found My Calling
During the many meetings and trainings on riding public transportation, attending interviews, and writing a resume, I reflected on the things that I enjoyed. I loved babysitting and working in the daycare at church...
Then it hit me- I wanted to be a teacher! It was something that I was passionate about and loved. DSB offered to pay for my entire teaching degree. I was (and am) so thankful to have them as support to pursue my calling.
How I Kicked Butt
As soon as I had the go-ahead, I jumped right into coursework at WGU. They had a program that let you work at your own pace. Taking full advantage, I finished 40 credits in my first semester. Whew! It was a lot of hard work. The coursework was challenging and hard on my eyes. My parents got me this cool program called Zoom Text that read the coursework to me. It definitely helped get me through the coursework more quickly.
My student mentor was impressed, yet skeptical about my progress. Even though I could have graduated after just 18 months of school, She made me wait until the Fall to do student teaching. It was frustrating, but it was nice to have a summer off. That Fall, I finished my student teaching and graduated shortly after. It felt great to stand amongst all of the other students at graduation. I was so proud that, despite my vision and a few bumps along the way, that I was fulfilling my calling.
How I Used My Degree
After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I started applying for teaching positions. I went to many interviews and met many a principal. The problem seemed to be that I didn’t have enough experience. All of the other teachers out there seemed to have five to ten years of experience. From their point of view, it was much easier to hire someone who knew the system and had a great behavior management system already in place. As a result, I kept looking, searching for that one school that would take a chance on me.
There was an online school called, “Washington Connections Academy”. It was hiring teachers for the new year. The principal replied quickly to my application and was interviewing me within weeks. After he considered the findings from the interview and resume, I got a call. I was hired! It was so exciting to know that all of that hard work was paying off. Or was it….
Shortly after I was notified, they sent me a contract. It did not specify my pay. If only I had thought about checking or asking. See, I know that the average pay for a new teacher in my local school district was about $50,000 a year. WACA paid me $28,000 per year. Do you see a SMALL discrepancy? Even though I was very upset, I decided to stick with them until a better job came around. I ended up working for them for 3 years.
And just so you know, yes, I did eventually find a better job.
Well, that’s it. That’s how I became a teacher. If you would like to learn more about how I became blind, please see the links below. Thank you for viewing.
More About My Story
- Blind Faith: My Journey
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- Blind Faith Part 1: In The Beginning
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- My Life As A Sped Teacher: Problem Solving In Virtual Special Education
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© 2020 Miranda Hurtado