I always had this idea of wanting to be a teacher. As a child, I was curious and asked a lot of questions. School was a place to get answers to my questions and so I liked going to school and learning. When I was about 10 years old, I remember looking at my fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Stevens, and there was just something about her, and I knew—right there and then— I would be in the classroom one day.
I’m now a senior at Jackson State University and am majoring in elementary (K-6) education. My concentrations are in reading and social science. I’m on schedule to graduate this spring, and it will be a dream come true in the sense that I’m accomplishing a goal I decided to do when I was a little girl.
I look forward to my first classroom, too. I know it's typically harder for first-year teachers, but I’m not afraid to ask for help to get the support I need. This support is one of the things I appreciate the most about the Aspiring Ed program, I have a large network of retired and current educators, members of the Mississippi Association of Educators and the NEA, who are more than happy and willing to support me.
At Jackson State, we’ve been working hard to reignite our campus chapter. Each campus chapter, not just at my university, but across the country, has so much potential to support future educators. Aside from networking with other aspiring educators, there are opportunities to learn from practicing educators on how to conduct job interviews, build your resume, and apply for education jobs—and how to give back to your community through NEA-sponsored programs, like Read Across America. The ideas we have are endless.
I believe in giving back to my community, whether on campus or at a local school, because it starts a cycle. When you give back to people and they benefit, they’ll want to give back to other people. And that’s one of the goals for my campus chapter at Jackson State: To bring great minds together and pioneer new ways to help one another so that we can be the best teachers for our students. We have a responsibility to support one another and belonging to the Aspiring Ed program affords me the opportunity to do just that.