At 36 years old, I have made the decision to go back to school. Not just that, but to become a first-time teacher in my forties. Why? Because, well, I need to.

I always dreamed of pursuing an art degree. Straight out of high school, I started working on it, but… life happened. I met my first husband, got married, moved around a little, and had my older two boys. When we divorced, I attempted to go back to school, but it was extremely difficult to do as a single mom with little help.

A bit of a change…

At the age of 28, I began to work as a special education paraprofessional and fell in love with it. So much so that I wanted to go back to school to become a special education teacher, but… life happened. I became pregnant with my youngest son and stayed home with him until he started school.

At this point, I pushed the idea of going back to school out of my head and pretty much decided that it would never happen. Later, at 35, I was given the opportunity to start back working as a paraprofessional again, and it reignited my fire for learning AND teaching. However, I have learned that I prefer to work with older children. I would also like to share my passion for art.

When I was in high school, graphic arts and drafting saved me and kept me in school. I would like to pass this gift on to future generations while making my classroom inclusive to children in special education that might otherwise not be included in such electives.

One thing that I have learned in my working as a paraprofessional is that things have to change. The mindsets of teachers and students need to be shifted to include all kinds of minds, and there is no better way to do that than to lead by example. Some teachers just aren’t sure of how to accommodate students with different needs, and that needs to be demonstrated more.

And now…

I am so excited knowing that I will be starting school again in two months! I will have my associates degree finished within a year, and should have my bachelors in less that 3. After that, I wish I could say beyond that I have it all figured out, but I know that I will get there.

I am already in contact with my advisor to ensure that I have a feasible plan. This should have me off to a great start.

I have been researching better study habits and outlined important dates in my planner. In May, my courses should have a syllabus posted, and I will put all assignments in my planner and outline when to start working on each one.

Say a prayer, I’m almost there!!!

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