A few nights ago I was dreaming about teaching. It was a vivid dream and it had me waking up with a wave of excitement. In the dream it was the first day of school, my students were coming into my room and I was teaching them history. This is easily the best dream I’ve had in a while.
I started down the path towards becoming a professional educator about a year ago. The genesis of my journey was my job at the Miami Dade College (MDC) Single Stop Program. I arrived at MDC via the national service program AmeriCorps VISTA with the purpose of fulfilling a passion of working with at risk communities. That passion was definitely nurtured by the many opportunities the Single Stop program offered, and by far my greatest memory, aside from meeting and helping many students, is the staff at the program.
One of the opportunities I had was going into classrooms across three separate MDC campuses and speak with students about the Single Stop program and its benefits to them. Over the course of my year at MDC I became familiar with several of the professors, having visited their classrooms numerous times. The experience of being the classroom, combined with several conversations I had with different professors, opened my eyes towards the possibility of becoming a teacher. Thus when my AmeriCorps year ended in January of this year, I began teaching at MDC as well as Broward College.
I taught Public Speaking and Intro to Communication during the spring semester and LOVED IT! The material, the students, and the learning process were a revelation to me. I became enthralled with it all, but I also found myself feeling like I didn’t have enough time with the students. I would only see them twice a week, but I felt a nudge inside telling me that I wanted more. Before the semester was finished I decided that I wanted to teach grade level students, and so I set to work determining what would have to be done to do it.
Becoming a teacher in Florida for people who did not graduate college with a teaching degree is not an easy process. If you want to know more about it click here. I’ve passed my General Knowledge test and I’m enrolling in the Educator Preparation Institute at Broward College to fulfill other requirements listed in my Florida Department of Education Statement of Status letter. There are also two more exams, the subject area and professional, which I must pass before earning my professional license. There’s a lot to accomplish, but I believe that great things begin with a dream and determination. I’ve had the determination, and now I’ve had the dream!
Blog Note: It’s been a while since my last posting. This has occurred for several reasons, the first being that internet connectivity on the Big Cypress reservation is tenuous at best. When a storm comes rolling through, as happens often during the summer months, you can expect the internet to be down for day, if not more. The second is that I took my honeymoon during the month of May, and a family trip to Oklahoma during the month of June. These two trips were both tremendous for what I was able to see and experience, but also for the amount of energy and time they took up. The third reason was my volunteering during July at a summer camp in Moore Haven, FL. This was a part of the Summer Food Service Program I wrote about before. The last and most significant reason is that my family, at the end of May, took in a five month old foster child. I’ll elaborate on this more later, but I’ll say now that taking in this child has been a rewarding time for my family. He is a wonderful boy, full of life and laughter. It has also been an adjustment for all of us, my wife, my son, and I. Diapers, formula, teething, sleepless nights, and even a trip to the ER, these last few months have been chock full of newness for us all.