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Becoming a Teacher

Life Story Club Contributor

September 21, 2020

My school days, I also grew up in the Bronx and my school was very poor. I really didn’t learn very much. I have to learn to read and do some arithmetic. But I did read a lot on my own. And I met my husband and a year after we were married, he decided he wanted to go back to school. We thought he had the G.I. Bill from World War II but he missed out by six months. So I decided well he’ll go to school, I’ll work and he’ll work. And we did that. But I decided to hold off having children because of that.

But I kept reading and I decided eventually that I wanted to go to school too, but I couldn’t afford to pay tuition because I was paying for my husband. I had to get into Hunter College, which was free. But I did take a test and I got into that. And I went at night. And I really went for my pleasure. I liked to read so I took all the reading courses that I could take. I started in 1955. I had children, 4 children, and I didn’t finish until 1972. But I enjoyed every course that I took. And I accidentally became a teacher because I just had to continue going free.

And I moved to Westchester. So in order to continue free, I had to take a teaching course. And I got an excellent course teaching kids with learning disabilities how to read. Now I’m retired. I still took courses at night and I loved reading. And now during this pandemic, I’m home six months now. I have a tremendous library full of books, which I haven’t really read. I read from the library but I didn’t read my own books. But now I’m reading books. I’m enjoying it so much I don’t even mind staying home.

I had the right personality for teaching then because I loved learning and reading. I really was determined to get the kids to learn at least the mechanics of reading and I tried to get them interested in reading. But it was very difficult. Somehow the kids don’t like to read. And I hope they’re doing well now. Twenty years since I left my job, but I hope that I made some impression and helped them. I hope so.

Well … I did make some impact. Sometimes I ran into the kids in the parking lot. And two of them said that … one said that he got a prize in his high school. I asked him in what. He said reading. He was such a poor reader but I knew he was smart. But somehow he just didn’t get to read. But eventually, he did.

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