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My Path To Becoming A Teacher

My path to teaching was a long one.  Most of the time, from what I've seen, it's not super hard to get into the profession.  Often times, you can get offered a position at the school where you student teach, or at least get a recommendation from your principal to a school in the same district.  What happens when you're moving around though?  My husband was in the military, so I wasn't in one place for long during these important years.  

So, my path to teaching, was probably different than most.  I honestly wouldn't change it for anything though.  I feel like every step I took, made me that much better at what I do now.  It made me the teacher I am today.  The path I took, also put me in the school that I wanted to be in.  

School - I went to school at Rhode Island College.  I ended up with my degree in Early Childhood Education and a concentration in Mathematics.  Early Childhood Education was still a little new, so the test I had to take at the end, to get certified in RI was the regular Elementary Education Test.  So I was certified from Pre-K through 5th grade.   I chose Early Childhood, because I wanted to teach the younger children.  Pre-K and Kinder is what I thought I wanted to do.  That, or a middle school math teacher.  I LOVE math (and all my students know that now).  

Daycare - While I was in school, I worked at the preschool on campus.  I just worked here a couple of hours a week, in between classes, but it was my first real taste of being in the education field, and also why I wanted to do Early Childhood, since it was all I had really known.  Once I got married, my husband and I moved to Florida for a few months.  There, I worked in a daycare for children with special needs.  I was in the 3 year old room.  After my husband finished his few months in Florida, we moved to San Antonio.  Right away, I got a job at a daycare in the Infant room.  I absolutely loved this.  I was getting paid to play with babies all day!  People used to joke that it was fantastic birth control, but honestly, it made me want to have a baby even more.  And soon enough I did!  

I ended up getting into substituting in San Antonio, which I will talk about later.  After we moved from San Antonio to Indiana, I again got a daycare position.  This time I worked in the daycare for 2 years.  I worked with 1-3 year olds.  It was a great job and I loved it.  Soon, I had my second child.  

Parenting - I had my first child when I was subbing in San Antonio.  We were still a young couple though so I had to continue working and put her in daycare.  When I had my second child, though, we decided I would stay home with our kids.  I ended up having our third child a couple years later, and I was a stay at home mom for 5 years.  During this time, I started my crochet business and blog.  It was a good time to do this.  Something small that I was able to do in between nap times and such.  I loved staying home with my kids.  I feel like it gave us a special bond.  Also, I wouldn't have said this before I became a parent, but I feel like being a parent made me a much better teacher.  I always saw kids as precious beings, but now I had a different feeling towards them.  They were somebody else's babies.  Somebody else's world.  And they should be treated that way.  Parenting gave me a new perspective on teaching.  I wasn't just teaching them academics, I was teaching them how to be a loving person.  I learned I am teaching the whole child, and not just the brain.  Parenting has definitely been a blessing to me, and has made me a better teacher for sure.  

Subbing - In San Antonio, once I got pregnant with my daughter, I finally got the courage to get into subbing.  I'm not going to lie, I was scared.  I was finally going to be in charge of a classroom.  I was going to have 20 eyes, looking to me to teach them.  I though, well, it will only be a day at a time, and the teacher will have left me their lesson plans.  How hard can that be.  Well, if that is what I had stuck with, it would have been a walk in the park.  I quickly learned about maternity leave subbing.  It was more money, and I was excited about being in a classroom more than just once a day.  So that's what I looked for.  I had a few different maternity leave stints that I did in my two years subbing for the schools there.  I loved it!  I was able to be with the students for a good chunk of time, I got to create lesson plans (along the lines of what the teacher wanted) and I really felt like a real teacher.  I KNEW this is what I wanted to do. I had an interview for a full time job with my own classroom, but we were moving to Indiana so it didn't work out. 

When we moved to Indiana, the school district we are in is much smaller.  There are only 8 elementary schools, so I did not get into subbing right away for fear of not getting a job every day.  If I went back to work, I had to get a full time job to cover the cost of daycare.  Eventually, after my stay at home mom stint, we (my husband and I) decided that we could afford to send our kids to private school, which we had been doing for our oldest, and put our youngest in daycare at that school so that I could go back to subbing.  If you are new to town, subbing is HANDS DOWN the best way to get your foot in the door.   I started doing the day to day subbing, surprisingly getting a job every day, when I asked my supervisor about getting to maternity leaves.  

Turns out, the district here has a separate position for maternity leaves.  It is a full time position and it paid regular teacher pay.  I applied, and I got it!  In one year I worked in a 3rd grade, preschool, 2nd grade and then ended the year in 4th grade.  Along the way, I was asked what I wanted to do next year.  In particular, the principal at the school where I taught 2nd grade, told me she wished she had a job to offer me because she wanted me at the school next year, but that she would recommend me to any principal in the district.  I got praise at all of these schools, and I really feel like the path I took to get here, is the reason for this.  I've had experience in many ways, and all put together, I have learned A LOT.  

Teaching - Ultimately, I did not apply to any of the schools in the district.  I knew in my heart, that I wanted to work at the school where my children went too.  I told the principals in the district, that I wanted to do at least another year of subbing while I continued to get my bearings as a teacher.  But God had other plans for me.  The spring of my year subbing, I found out that there was a 4th grade teaching position that would open up at my kids school.  I applied, went through a couple of interviews, and got the job.  I am now about to go into my 3rd year teaching at the school.  Elearning and COVID aside, it has been amazing.  I love being where my kids are, and the school I'm at is like a big family.  The teachers, staff, children and families area amazing.   I truly believe that everything I went through led me to where I am now.  Everything I did to get here, has made me the teacher I am today.