Why Did I Choose Teaching?

My passion for teaching started when I was in elementary school. I had an amazing set of teachers from first grade through fifth grade. Their energy and positivity radiated in the classroom and inspired me to be a model student and eventually tackle teaching.

My world flipped upside down in third grade. This year I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder.

Why teaching? I would miss school for hospitalizations, overnight tests, and doctorโ€™s appointments. It took almost two years before I would connect with the right doctor to get me on the correct dosage of medication. If you do not know, seizures are a neurologic disorder, caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain. Each seizure affects the brain. For me, I was diagnosed with grand mal or tonic-clonic seizures. Yes, the scary ones, where the whole body goes numb and you shake uncontrollably. Luckily for me, mine would happen just before I fell asleep in bed.

multiple colored splattered brain image to show the busy brain of a person with epilepsy

Throughout this time, I had amazing teachers that would visit me in the hospital, send me letters and encourage me that it was okay that I missed school. Since my teachers were so passionate about teaching, I felt like I was letting them down when I wasnโ€™t learning. Weird, I know, but I loved school because of them. It was around this time that I realized that I wanted to be a teacher and support students as they learned and grew. This is why teaching is so important to me.

Why did I choose special education?

When I was in middle school, I would always spend my extra time helping out one of my favorite teachers, Mr. S.. I did teacher tasks for him like organizing the book shelves, grading basic worksheets (with a key), filing student work into folders, and cleaning the desks. 

Pastel pink colored heart on a table to show how to teach through pictures

One day, Mr. S turned to me and asked if I wanted to take a walk with him down the hall to drop off papers in another room. I decided to join him. He went to a classroom five doors away from his. I had never been in this classroom before. How did I not even realize the classroom was there? The special education classroom was hidden behind the library. There were students in wheelchairs and bean bags. The classroom had tables and no desks. I had never seen any of these students before and they were in MY school!

I questioned Mr. S about their schooling and why they were in a classroom away from their peers. It was from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a special education teacher and advocate for students with disabilities.  My teaching journey started once I discussed this with Mr. S. This is my why.

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