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This week’s feature is Alison Fuller, a fourth grade teacher at Westridge Elementary. Alison comes from a family of teachers and is a fourth generation teacher. She went back to school when her youngest child started kindergarten. Here is what she wrote about teaching.
Why I Teach…
by Alison Fuller
When the youngest of my six children started attending kindergarten, I was left feeling a little lost. I loved being a full-time mom. I loved having a house full of children and exploring and learning and reading with them. I loved having the neighbor kids over. I was THAT mom.
So, in my quest to fill my time with something meaningful, I thought about what my options were. Sure, I could work in an office or retail, but I wanted more. I wanted to get a degree in something and have a career. My dad was a physician, and my mother was a teacher, so I had always thought about those fields. I narrowed it down to becoming a nurse or a teacher. I decided to start substitute teaching to see what it would be like to be in a classroom all day. I. Loved. It.
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I enrolled in UVU and started my coursework from credit one. That year, my oldest son also attended UVU, along with many of his friends. I had classes with some of these friends. They would ask me, “Mrs. Fuller, did you do your math homework?”, I’d reply, “Yes, and since we are now peers, you may call me Alison.” I felt old and out of place, but knew that this was the path I needed to be on.
I persevered and graduated with honors (and 6 kids to boot!). I began teaching as an intern in 3rd grade and relished those “light-bulb” moments. It is certainly fulfilling to know a difference is being made. I am a fourth generation teacher (all female) in my family. If I wasn’t adopted, I’d say it was in my blood.
There is an energy gained from working with kids. It is fun to be at a STEM school where we can really work hard on problem-solving and learn in an engaging environment. As a young student, I did not like school. I had a hard time focusing and that kept me from feeling successful. I love teaching because I can help students through differentiation to find a learning style which works for them. I love the kindness I see every single day. I love the hard work I see. I know some of these kids are really struggling in their personal lives and I love making a difference. I love helping every child feel cared for and safe and successful. I love learning right alongside my students. I love learning and teaching people HOW to learn. I love my friendships in the building with other adults who have chosen this often demeaned profession. I love changing lives.