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Non-education professional

“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job”. In his famous saying, Donald Quinn has amplified his vivid description of the role of a classroom teacher and the challenges that they have encountered in meeting the diverse need of every student who is a part of the learning environment.

As a non-education professional who intends to shift to a new career, I am fully aware of the responsibilities of an educator and the fulfillment that one can derive in the practice of this profession. Teaching pre-school children has always been a childhood dream as I often find joy in molding the minds children and in shaping their future. After high school, my heart has been clamoring to major in early childhood education but due to the scarcity of employment opportunity in the field of education in the district where I grew up, my father compelled me to take a course related to Business Administration.

It was one of my father’s greatest fears to see me end up in a fate similar to what he had experienced if I will pursue a career in teaching. My father had a Bachelor’s degree in Education and for a short period of time, he was able to practice his profession in Buffalo, New York. However, due to the school district’s budgetary constraints, he was laid off and was forced to pursue his Masters in Business Administration to qualify for employment in an industry where he served as a certified public accountant.

As a result of his experience, my passion to be a classroom teacher was temporarily put on hold since I was totally dependent on my parents for financial and educational support and I was not in a position to defy their advice. While my Business degree led me to work as a marketing analyst, office manager and project coordinator, it also provided me with the opportunity to learn about the importance of meeting the needs of every client regardless of their demands.

My position as project coordinator has exposed me to various programs wherein I was tasked to be a part of the design, development, and implementation of Learning and Education courses for adult learners in order to meet business needs within a particular line of service or business unit. Furthermore, I was also responsible for providing support before and during the learning events. This demanding job has developed my ability to be organized and flexible while maintaining a high standard of service quality.

Most importantly, it also gave me the opportunity to work directly with clients and to teach them about taxation, business planning, restructuring and financing as well as managing corporate finances. Although my years of involvement with a corporation made me realized that this is not the profession that I would like to engage in for a longer period of time, the opportunity to prepare teaching materials and strategies to help clients learn and to keep them fully engaged in the discussion while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism is an experience that I will always cherish.

As part of my volunteer mission work for the First United Methodist Church, I traveled to Villa El Salvador, Peru and became a teacher assistant. It was in this volunteer service work that rekindled my interest in teaching the young children. I felt like I was given a new breath of life while being with the children in Peru. Furthermore, it also gave me a feeling that I was like a fish in the aquarium that was set free to swim in the ocean. The intrinsic fulfillment that I felt was beyond compare.

Aside from assisting teachers in executing the lessons for the day and implementing recreational activities for their pupils, I also had the chance to teach basic English vocabulary and word pronunciation. In addition, I supported students as they practiced speaking my native language inside the classroom and within the school premises. In teaching the young pupils, I tapped their intrinsic motivators such as their natural curiosity to learn, to imitate and to express their thoughts and feelings.

I also integrated sharing of one’s culture and language as part of the literacy program. With the help of other volunteers, we shared information about our culture and tradition by singing some songs and performing traditional dances while wearing a costume. We also showed pictures of our country and families, cook American meals and gave few samples of our candies and cereals. With my patience, care and ability to keep an open mind, there is nothing more fulfilling than to see children in Peru manifest their natural desire to explore and to learn more.

My volunteer work in Tampa Bay from 2006 to present has strengthened my skills in managing and teaching children as I have rendered the following services: performed individualized reading to school-aged children who were residing at the Salvation Army Hospitality House; assisted in feeding, playing and interacting with children while their parents attended a family support meeting; organized activities such as games and crafts for children ages 5-12; helped elementary children complete their homework after school, and assisted in providing basic learning tools for schools in Hillsborough Schools.

My voluntary services as well as my professional work in Pricewaterhousecoopers have prepared me for a career shift in teaching.

Furthermore, performing these work and service activities have magnified my personal attributes and characteristics such as enthusiasm towards my work, creativity and energy in preparing and implementing a program, optimism in believing that everyone can learn, confidence in achieving the desired goal, maximizing the use of my experience and expertise in delivering my services, having the ability to take on new assignments and to bring vitality to the workplace, personal and psychological stability in facing the challenge, wisdom to accept and understand individual differences, openness to diversity and maintaining professionalism in any given task. Pursuing a degree in childhood education that will allow me to become a professional teacher is a passion that will ultimately be realized with the guidance and help of Fordham University. With my determination to reach my goal, I will complete the MST program and become a certified Childhood Education teacher in the near future.

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