“If you don’t like something, change it.” …and I definitely needed to change some things. I needed to change my outlook, I needed to change my focus and I needed to find the classroom within which fate meant for me to teach. In 2009, I was laid off of my teaching job for the past few years. But I loved teaching art! Or did I? I like to think it took me ‘going out and creating’ a new career focus for myself just to truly find myself as both a person and as a teacher. So with a brave heart (and an even braver credit card), I went back to school again to pursue my new focus: Special Education. Art was still my passion and what I loved to do, but I knew that somehow I had to share that passion with a population who didn’t think of art as a “luxury” but as a necessity. I wanted to create art and teach living skills with a group that thrives on the daily therapy of such visuals. Most of all, I wanted to be appreciated, especially by a group of students who are often only appreciated by a special few. In just a year I worked hard enough to proudly add a Special Education “comprehensive” endorsement to my state art teaching license and crossed my fingers. I knew a teacher like me, with my limited Special Educational background, would be hard to take seriously for schools hiring that next year. I knew I had some tough roads to cross, some extensive bills to pay off, and a rough professional blow or three to overcome. Yet I had to stop over analyzing and start believing in myself. My need to do what I love and live my new dream somehow got me through those tougher times and more uncertain moments. A year later, and I am now a changed and happier person. I am living my dream thanks to finally meeting a like-minded school director who truly recognized my drive to share my passion. She gave me the chance to change my life, and I took it with gusto. My past teaching year has been nothing short of a miracle and I am a better person and thus greater educator having worked with such an amazing group of 12 Lifeskills students. I am truly, without a doubt, doing what I love and doing it often now. Life is indeed short. And it’s amazing what one can achieve and how your life can change when you take the chance to take a chance in such a short yet important span of days/months/years. Thus I continue to savor every last bite…

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