I entered the field of education along with my son, Aaron. When he entered kindergarten, I became a special education instructional assistant. After spending eight years team teaching among excellent and generous teachers, and occupational and speech therapists, who enabled me to share in the actual teaching and utilize my creative side, I decided to go for my teaching certificate. My district believed in me and paid my tuition and salary as I went through an intense program. But there were strict requirements to be eligible for the scholarship-one of which was Public Speaking 101. This was one of the first times in my life, I was required to give formal presentations before my peers. The instructor taught me useful skills that I have appreciated and used ever since that I had not previously learned while acquiring my BFA. I learned how to write a statement of purpose, how to create an effective outline, how to articulate ideas in order to communicate well and to have a memorable impact. Most importantly, he let us choose our topics. I felt very strongly about the topics I chose and embarked upon some of the most intense academic work I had ever experienced. I overcame social phobias because of the constructive and kind feedback that the instructor provided for all of us in the class. We were all nervous and we rejoiced at the conclusion of eachother’s speeches. We had created a sense of community and were all pulling for eachother. I appreciated the instructor’s comment on my work: Superior. It did not make me feel superior to others. This was work that was far superior to any work I had previously done. It set me on a path that has served me and I hope my students very well.

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