Teacher Certification Admission Essay

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Throughout high school and during my undergraduate studies, education was never a top priority for me. Only during the past two years, in the "real world", have I realized the importance of education. I look back at those years and wish I had done more and realized all the potential I had in my hands and not wasted so much time. During my undergraduate career my social activities consumed my life. My friends were not motivated to do well in school so I followed their lead. My grades were low, and I did not even care. After I graduated in 1997 with a Psychology B.A. and lost touch with my old friends and old ways, I have realized that I should have spent more time doing some soul searching and thinking what it was that I wanted to do with my life. I liked Psychology but what I really wanted to do was work with children more closely. I had spent my junior and senior years involved in internships at Head Start and at a High School in a Program for teenaged mothers. I loved my work there. At Head Start I was a Teacher Aid for the pre-school, teaching the children to read, numbers etc. And at the High School I counseled the teenaged mothers, took care of their kids while they went to school and after the school day I tutored them with their homework. After being out of school for a while, I started to miss that. The feeling that I was teaching something those kids, the feeling that I was making a difference. I was determined to find a job in education, with my background in Psychology, how hard could it be? I found work at a residential school for runaways and abused teenaged females. It was great! I was ready to go, I was going to change the world and change those girls lives. What I didn't realize is that will alone does not make me a teacher and that I needed training, a lot of training. I made a lot of mistakes in that job. I got discouraged and decided to forget about working with children, forget teaching and do something else that paid more. So, I got a job as a Secretary, I did that for about two years. Teaching, working with children was always on my mind. My own roller-coaster ride with my career choices ended when I decided to give another go and applied for a job at Alpine Learning Group. I have been there for over a year and everyday that I walk into those school doors I realize I want to learn more about being a teacher and about ways of teaching children better. My current job has given me a lot of training but it could never compare to the instruction and guidance that a university such as Montclair would offer. I am applying for a Teacher of the Handicapped Certification. I want to work with children who have Autism and help them make their lives better. These children not only need academic guidance but also help on every other aspect of their daily lives. Children with Autism and in general children with handicaps need a lot of support in order to become productive citizens, mainly because their understanding of their role in society is lacking or very poor. I feel that children such

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