College Education Is It’s Own Reward

There are many reasons that people choose to go to college before entering the workforce: a better job, a higher salary, or otherwise unattainable careers are some prime examples. For me, however, the lure of higher education is much simpler. I have worked in a variety of careers in my 34 years, but none of them have made me as happy as I am being a mother. To that end, I plan to earn my Bachelor’s Degree and using it to obtain a career path that allows me to work from home with a flexible schedule so I don’t have to leave my children for hours every day.

Admittedly, my reasons for seeking out higher education are very different that for the average college student. Many college students are just finishing high school and college is just the next logical step, but even without the knowledge of what life will bring, everyone can benefit from a college education. Had I chosen that path at a younger age, my children would already be benefiting from my diligence.

My passion right now is the study of languages, and whether or not I’m able to turn that into the type of career I’m hope for, the benefits of my studying aren’t limited to my professional life. Studying languages has opened my eyes to the beauty of other cultures, to the history of linguistics, and the knowledge of how much language has done to shape each culture that has ever existed on this planet.

No matter your chosen field of study, it will undoubtedly enrich your life in many ways you can’t even dream of yet. Of course, it is wonderful to be able to make money from our academic pursuits, but there is so much more to education than dollars and cents. Knowledge shapes our perspectives, and through that, our entire lives.

My Adventure in becoming a teacher in Michigan

Ever since I was little I liked to pretend to teach a class or do things like read to my toys or pets. I learne. to read when I was only four years old and had a huge appetite for learning about things. The library was
a special place for me and I would check out dozens of books and devour all of the information inside.

Then I was eager to share with others what I had learned. So, it was logical that I would end up in the education field and pursue a career as a teacher.

After I graduated from high school, I put in my application to go to college and get my teaching degree. I decided that I wanted to help shape new minds by becoming an elementary school teacher for grades K-

6. After a lot of thought, I applied to go to one of the state approved teacher preparation programs in my home state of Michigan.

Lots of special tests to study for and pass
I learned that I would need to not only pass the program and get my bachelor’s degree, I would also have to pass a special exam called the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification or MTTC. Then, I would be awarded a provisional certificate and it would be good for six years. Later, if I wanted to do advanced
forms of teaching, I would have to get the Professional Education Certificate, which is good for five years. Additionally, since I wanted to teach in elementary school, I would have to pass a special Elementary Education test too. So, I had a lot of tests to pass.
Hard work and dedication paved the way to success.

So, let’s fast forward to past my college days and I will say that it was hard work and dedication that got me through the four years it took to get my Bachelor’s degree and then take all of those required tests so that I could be eligible for becoming an elementary teacher in Michigan. But even though I passed all of them, which of course didn’t guarantee me of a job! I would have to apply for an open teaching position and get chosen and hired!
I wanted to work in my hometown of Lansing, Michigan. I felt like I wanted to give back in honor of the teachers who had helped me to get through school and have a love of learning and that’s why I wanted to become a teacher, so I could help others feel the same way! I was excited to apply for open positions
in the elementary teaching field, and hoped I would get the job I desired.

So, I applied for a job at the local elementary school and was lucky to get the position I craved! I will soon start my dream job of being an elementary teacher for Grades 2 and 3. I look forward to those little
children and helping them to learn things!

Starting A New Life With A New Career

I have been working as an admin assistant for a big law firm for many years now. I learned a lot on the job. I work side-by-side with the paralegals here, and I often put in just as many long hours as they do. Although I have been working here longer than many of these young paralegals, I don’t have the qualifications to do what they do because I do not have a degree. Being an admin assistant is one thing; being an educated paralegal is another. The difference in salary is quite significant. I realize that the only way that I can get ahead is to go back to school and earn my degree as a paralegal. This would put me on the track of a new career.

I talked to some of the paralegals here to see where they obtained their training. Many of them went to community college to get their degree. Some of them attended accredited online training programs. One of them used to be a stay-at-home mom whose children are now in high school. She eased herself back into the workforce by working part-time here. She said that getting her degree as a paralegal was one of the smartest decisions that she ever made.

I truly believe that this is right decision for me as well. I want to study for my degree and still keep my current job. I know that there are programs that are flexible enough to accommodate students who have a full-time job. I can either find a local training program that offers evening classes, or I can find a reputable program that is offered online.

No matter how I get that degree, I know that it will open many doors for me. Even if I do not get a job as a paralegal with my current employer, I am sure that I will be able to find a position at another law firm. I am fortunate that I have first-hand experience on what the work environment is like in a law office. I know how hard the paralegals work around here. At times, demands can get intense. However, that is the kind of energy that I thrive on.

I want to do more for our clients than to just answer their phone calls or schedule their appointments with our attorneys. I want to work directly on their legal cases. I want to do research. My training program will teach me the skills that I need to be an important part of the legal team.

With the extra income that I will make, I can finally start saving for a house. It has long been a dream of mine to own my own home. With a new career, I will be able to do that. I am so glad that I now have a clear career path that I want to pursue. It will start with a great education and getting that degree. Once I achieve that, I can start to build up my career.

WHEN I EARN MY DEGREE

I have had real hard days. I do not not have a problem associating with people. My neighbors are not the cause of my hard days. My workmates are not either. My bosses are not and definitely my job is not. I love what I do. The problems comes when I try splitting my meager income to cater for my needs and those of my child. A single parent and a mother of a bouncing baby girl, my monetary needs are pretty high. When I subtract the expenses of rent, transport, food and my daughter’s school fees, I am left with a little over fifty dollars which is my current savings per month. Promotions come and go, I cannot rise beyond where I am. My level of education would never allow me. A year ago, I sat down and deeply wondered what choices I had. I would have done anything just to elevate my self from this position I’m in. I thought I had found a way: joining a college and getting more education.

But working in a bank is something else. I was required to report at Seven in the morning and we were released at around six in the evening. Although we were paid for all overtime hours, a fact I appreciated, the schedule was tight and attending classes was literally impossible. My work, coupled with the responsibility of my daughter whom I love, made sure I had no extra time to attend classes.The money I had used to register for a part-time program that would earn me a degree went to waste. I thought it was over and and I would be stuck here forever. I thought my life was doomed. I hated life. And I have been hating it until last month when I found a solution: an online degree.

I do not know why it had never crossed my mind. A friend told me about online degrees recently and I was interested. Actually, I was fascinated. I went and talked to my boss about it and he understandingly allowed me to get off work at four. Spotting a light at the end of the tunnel, I took a loan that may cover almost all of my online program expenses. Yes! I will get my degree. My life will have a whole different meaning. I made arrangements with a university in California and I am now ready to start. In on week, I will be on my way to the life I have always wished for. A good working position, a better pay, more independence, a career and most importantly, a better life for my daughter. I know one day she will look back find strength in this choice that I have made. When I sit and think about what this degree will add to my life, I shed a tear.

And if all goes well, I’ll take my masters and may be become a scholar. I can see the better life. I can see better days.

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