My Journey Draft 3

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She wanted to become a teacher and never told me. She always encouraged me to do my very best and allowed me to make my own decisions. To her surprise when I graduated high school. I revealed my decision to pursue a career in teaching and she was elated. That is when she shared to me for the very first time that she also wanted to be a teacher for as long as she could remember. However, didn’t have the opportunity to attend college because as the eldest in her family she needed to work to help support her household.

A great supporter of mine has been my mother. She knows very well that my journey has never been an easy one. But many of us go through obstacles in life. Whether they be of personal or emotional nature. When I hear the word journey, a slideshow of my short lived life flashes before me. I still can’t believe at times that I have been fortunate enough to have a loving family, travel and reach goals that I have set for myself both personally and professionally.

Part of my journey that is not yet completed brings me back here to Lehman College. When I graduated Lehman College back in May 2013, I knew that I would return to do my graduate work. However, after completing my undergraduate work I wanted to start working and did so. A month after graduating, I received a job opportunity and began teaching that September at a new public school here in the Bronx. My first year I taught in an ICT kindergarten classroom and had the privilege of having a very knowledgeable co-teacher who was also my mentor and I learned a lot from her. She helped me learn how to write curriculum maps, get the families involved in the classroom and behavioral management interventions. My second year, I taught in an ICT first grade class and felt that everything I had learned was put into good use because now I had to support my new co-teacher. I have been teaching in the DOE for two years now. My love for teaching continues to grow everyday. I am learning new things all the time and feel that I can only get better each year. I really like the fact that we are encouraged to work collaboratively because I have learned so much from colleagues. I was suppose to start graduate work initially in the Fall 2012 but due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to my postpone my returning to school.

I then was suppose to come back in the Spring of 2013 but my grandfather became ill and I had to take care of him therefore, I had to postpone school once again. This was a very difficult part of my journey. My grandfather was a dialysis patient for many years and from one day to the next his health declined rapidly. He was my number fan and he celebrated my accomplishments. We were very close as I was his eldest granddaughter he was more like a father to me. For the first time in a long time my world was shaken and I didn’t have the answers. I put my personal goals aside and I dedicated my time and energies to my grandfather. He was in the hospital for several months; I spent my time after work with him. After some time doctors couldn’t help his case he was sent home where as a family we took care of his needs and supported him because he couldn’t do much for himself. He passed away this July and that’s when I had to start a new journey. That of coping with the loss of someone so dear to me. They say very few moments in life can affect you and change you as a person. This experience is one that I’m still trying to come to terms with as it is very painful for me to think about. I was motivated to return to graduate school as my grandfather always admired my determination. As we buried him, I remember sharing in a speech that I wanted to make him proud with the decisions I would continue to make in my life. I want to live and stay true to those words.

Though I am relatively new in the profession, I’ve always been that person who looks towards future possibilities. After researching all the graduate programs this one spoke to me the most. The emphasis on literacy in schools is extremely evident and teaching in urban schools, I see the different needs of students. I want to gain a deeper understanding of strategies to then further my skills and knowledge of the subject to support my school. I see my journey constantly evolving, I would like to teach for some years and then move into a position of leadership. I have had multiple opportunities to work collaboratively with many colleagues. I feel that a school that has a strong team is successful. I want to grow in my skill set as a teacher. I always put goals for myself every school year because it helps me works towards something.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to make a difference. I speak from personal experience as I always try to see the positive things in each person. More so with children I feel can be molded with positive supportive role models. I feel everyone needs at least one or two individuals who encourage you to be successful and give you that affirmation that you can reach your goals. Many teachers have always supported me throughout my school career and I know the huge impact it can have; teachers have that ability to make a change. Building rapport with students and families. Acknowledging that in our career we always need to search for opportunities to grow because our learning never ends. A teacher that excels recognizes these facts. Life is full of different journeys, my journey comes with past fears and new found strength. I have come to realize the things you work the hardest for are the ones you value most.