My Adventure

I’m a 44-year old woman.  I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student. My life is pretty normal.  Nothing to see here!  However, a little over a year, when I decided I needed to finish something I had started decades earlier, my life became anything but ordinary!

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Going back to school at my age is no easy task!  Let me just tell you!  I attend classes with students who are half of my age!  They are as old (young) as my oldest child!  My goodness!  Talk about HUMBLING!  It is a truly surreal experience!

I quit college when I was a sophomore – over twenty years ago.  I started working for American Airlines.  Six months later I received my D2 card – that’s the card you can use to travel around the world – for dirt cheap!  I could travel to London, first class, for $106 each way!  That’s right!  So, once I had the D2 card in my hands, studying and attending class became less important.  I wanted to take small trips as often as I could! – especially since we had a 4 days on/3 days off schedule.  It was a perfect scenario!  Or was it?

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Unfortunately, a few years later and two young children later, I was stunned with the events that took place in my life.  I was getting divorced!  It was something that had to happen…  but it’s something that my D2 card couldn’t really help me with!  Luckily, I had over 60 college hours, which was more than enough to be a substitute teacher!  I needed a job that allowed me to work and provide for my kids, and still be home when they were home!

I loved the life of a substitute teacher.  The jokes, not so much. I’ve heard jokes about how all substitute teachers are the ones that couldn’t quite make it as “real” teachers.  I’ve heard about how you need to eat right and exercise so you don’t end up with “substitute arms.”  Yep!  The struggle is real!  But the years I spent floating from classroom to classroom, getting to know so many students, their parents, and other teachers, I just knew in my heart that I was meant to teach.  I wanted to do it every single day!

Do you realize how many awful teachers there are?  There are so many teachers that are quite vocal about their distaste for their profession, their students, the subjects they teach!  I watched teachers half-heartedly instruct their students, miss great opportunities to teach and inspire children!  It was so frustrating to know that they had what I wanted – and weren’t utilizing it in a positive way!  I must state, for the record, that most teachers are excellent!  I have met so many teachers that give of their time and money to their classes so that children can succeed!  I respect the profession and those who do it justice! I want to be counted among those!

I realized that being a substitute teacher, although a great “gig” for someone who no longer needed to work (thank you, husband number two and love of my life).  It was a job that I could choose when I worked, where I worked, and didn’t have any of the responsibilities.  The thing is… I WANTED to work every single day!  I WANTED the responsibilities: the grading, the planning, the staff meetings, the professional developments.  I wanted the whole package!

So, here I am!  Finishing the adventure I started so long ago!  I am learning so much from my professors and instructors!  And I’m learning more than I could have ever imagined from my classmates!  Yes, even those that are young enough to be my children!  I didn’t necessarily have a good view about this up-and-coming generation referred to so often as “snowflakes.”  I admit, I was wrong!  Most of you are rockin’!  You guys have taught me so much!  And the patience you have with me and my lack of technological savvy have not gone unnoticed!  Those of you who are still young – don’t stop!  Keep going until you graduate!  It is so much harder once you have children and other obligations!  It might make for a cool story you can blog about, but it’s really not the preferred method!  LOL!  Having three children, a husband, a house to clean, food to prepare, and all of the responsibilities of a full time college student, even with the help of my family, IS NOT EASY!  It’s definitely the hardest thing I have ever done!  I have managed, by the grace of God and my good study habits, to have made the Dean’s List or Chancellor’s List every single semester.  I hope that will continue!  I love being a student!  I love to learn!  And I can’t wait to have that moment when I get to finish this chapter of the adventure and walk across the stage of Texas Woman’s University, a teacher.

Graduation is exactly one year from now!  I am blessed to be able to go to school.  I am happy for all of the challenges and obstacles I face weekly. And I appreciate this class and all of you for being part of my most excellent adventure!

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9 comments

  1. lailacooper · April 27

    This is such a great post. I am a substitute teacher as well and I completely understand what you mean. There are so many teachers that do a lot of things half way and it pains me as well. I see so much potential in so many students but some teachers just pass them along. It is heart breaking when a senior in high school does not know how to spell or even how to start an essay. I wonder every time I encounter students like that. I wonder what happened that they missed that section or how they ended up in a new grade when the basics have not been mastered. Seeing some of the teachers that hate their jobs makes me sad because I know how much i want to be a teacher just like you and I am having to take extra classes on top of a masters degree that I already have to make that happen; while there are those that hate waking up in the morning to go teach or deal with kids. I think that if you give your students a challenge, they will rise and get it done. I think one just has to find what draws the student’s attention most, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • moniqueperessim · April 27

      Thank you! Yes, it is disturbing to see the lack of preparedness by some students! I subbed once in fifth grade and read some simple sentences that students had to write down. It broke my heart! How in the world did that happen?
      It is also painful to watch teachers who are in the position to make a difference just not care! And I am surrounded by people who want to teach more than anything! Yet, there are a few who will outright tell you that they want to teach because they will “get summers off.” I’m like, SURE YOU WILL! That’s what you think! LOL Anyway….
      Good teachers are in high demand! I am glad that you are passionate about teaching, also! I wish you the very best!

      Like

      • lailacooper · May 6

        Thank you so much

        Like

    • moniqueperessim · May 4

      Laila… can you tell me where your group is submitting the multi media project? I am unclear about where to put it….

      Like

      • lailacooper · May 6

        Hi the professor put a link on the classroom home page where to put the URL

        Like

  2. cassidee.miller · April 27

    Hi Monique! I found your post to be so inspiring and really got a sense of your awesome personality and the struggles you faced! I hold so much respect for anyone who goes back to college to purse their dreams- because like you, my mother went back to school and received her bachelor degree… I even took a college math class with her- but I can remember how hard she said it was and the age gap issue between her and her classmates, or even instructors. I loved reading your bit about being a substitute teacher and will start working as a substitute myself this coming fall. I am so excited for the new adventure and hope I am as inspired as you to become a teacher myself.

    Like

  3. moniqueperessim · April 27

    Cassidee – thank you for your kind words!
    I think you will love to be a substitute teacher! It is a wonderful experience! And if you are fortunate enough to become a “regular” at a particular campus, you will have a “rock star” status in no time, both with the other teachers (because you will be reliable) and especially with the students! I haven’t subbed for over two years and I still see kids around town and they run to me for hugs… it’s really great!

    I wish you the best! And I’m so glad to know that your mom was an inspiration to you, as well!

    HUGS

    Like

  4. nicolerehm · April 27

    Your post gave me goose bumps! I really appreciate your honestly and admire your hard work. My mom never finished college, and she always reminds me to keep going. Like you mentioned, it doesn’t get any easier! You obviously know how to manage your time to maintain your grades and still be a good mom and of course the million other things. You really are a rock star! You are setting a great example by following your dreams because it really is never too late. I am glad you will be one of the teachers that use their position for good, and don’t take it for granted. Teachers are so important and with your great attitude, I know that will shine through to your future students!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monique Peressim · April 27

      Thank you, Nicole! I appreciate that! I do hope to use my degree for good things! I hope to inspire and help students to love learning!
      I hope you will NOT STOP…. listen to your mom! LOL
      Sometimes life requires that we slow down for certain reasons, but if possible, don’t stop! It will be so worth it! Good luck to you!

      Monique

      Like

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