Story Tellers is a weekly feature hosted by Shannon from
I have been using Story Tellers to transcribe an audio tape that my grandfather made in the early 80's...but I have been really busy this week and didn't have time to transcribe it in time. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.
I still wanted to participate, so this week I thought I would share the story of how I became a Special Education teacher. Enjoy!
The only reason I was able to attend college was because in my senior year of high school I received a scholarship to attend Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. The only stipulation was that I had to study be a Business major and maintain a 3.0 GPA. No problem! Yeah right. I failed Spanish 101 during the first year and lost my scholarship. I did not quit though. I completed another year of business classes as well as most of my core requirements but I was very unfulfilled in my studies. One class in particular "pushed" me over the edge.
It was Business Economics. I hated it. Let's just say the teacher was not very good. For our final assignment we had to write a paper on anything related to business, no guidelines. Some students did business plans, some did the stock market, some did company policy manuals. Here is what I did...FORGOT ABOUT IT! Yes, I totally forgot about the assignment. The night before it was due I remembered and I spent all night thinking about what the heck I was going to write about and couldn't come up with anything. All I could think of was how horrible the class had been and that he (the teacher) made me want to change my major. BINGO- I wrote my final paper on why the class was so bad, why I am changing majors, and what he should do to improve his class. I also forgot that we had to present the paper to the class. I initially refused to present because I didn't want to embarrass the teacher, but my classmates encouraged me- I think they thought I was shy-they didn't know what I had written about. I went up to the podium and let loose. No one clapped at first, they all kind of sat there and looked at each other...and then the clapping began. I think I got the longest applause. I said what they were all thinking. I got an 'A' on the paper, after all, it was business related. The next day I submitted my change of major form from Business to Education. I graduated with my AA in Education-Elementary and Special Education Pre-Major in May 2005.
I transferred to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and declared my major as Elementary Education. During my first semester I took Into to Education and Introduction to Special Education. I had to do my first clinical then. That semester I did clinicals in a 3rd grade classroom, a 10th grade English class, and a separate Special Education school. I did not enjoy the 3rd grad class and the Special Education school scared the crap out of me. I then submitted a change of major and declared myself as an English Education Major. (Side Story: My dad use to work for the New Hampshire Institute for Mental Retardation and use to bring us to work with him sometimes. One time, my brother and I were playing basketball in the gym at his work and a client who had MR came in and began strangling me because she wanted the ball and didn't know how to ask. I was young and scared-when I did my clinical at the Special Education school one of the students came up to me and attempted to grab my head/neck because he wanted to smell my hair-it reminded me of the incident with the basketball and I had a freak out moment)
I loved all my English classes. What I did not love was that to become an English Teacher I had to take 2 more semesters of Spanish...and since I failed Spanish 101 I didn't think I would do so well in advanced Spanish. During this time I had applied for a job as a teachers aid to work with a student with an Emotional Disturbance. I did not get the job. However, a few months later I got a call from the school saying they had a position open in one of the severe and profound special education classes. I accepted it. I loved it.
I submitted my final change of major form and declared myself a Special Education major. At UNCC there are 2 Special Education tracks: Mild/ Moderate (learning disabilities, emotional disturbances) and Moderate/ Severe (Autism, MR). I chose Moderate/ Severe. I graduated in December 2007 from UNC Charlotte and I was the only one with the Special Education- Moderate/ Severe Degree.
I graduated on Saturday, December 15th and started my first teaching job on December 17th at the school where I completed my student teaching. In December I will celebrate the completion of 3 years of teaching. I love my job, I learn something new everyday and I grow as a teacher and as a person.
Through my entire educational experience I have learned that
Things Happen for a Reason
and I continue to live by that motto each day.
Thank you for joining me for Story Tellers. I hope to have Part 3 of my transcription ready for next week. Is there anything you, my readers, would like to know about me? Which features on my blog do you enjoy to read?