“Mustangs Ahead” is asking teachers “Why do you teach?” This segment by Paige Venuto is about LRHS Exceptional Student Education Student Government Association (SGA) adviser Heather Kasper.
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of the future generation. I struggled in school; however, this one teacher who I met in third grade and interacted with until seventh grade truly changed my life and helped me overcome many obstacles that stood before me. I wanted to be like her and she truly inspired me that I can make a difference in kid’s lives one day.
I chose special education because I was a classified student since third grade and have a sister who is mentally handicapped. I knew that this was the area I wanted to impact and give back. Going through the special education system myself, I could see many areas that needed change.
I chose to teach math as it was always a stronger area for me while in school. Additionally, once I learned something in math it was easy for me to explain it to others in multiple ways.
I started teaching right out of college. I secured my teaching job a year before graduating college at the same high school I went to. I was hired as a Geometry special education teacher, however was dual certified to teach so I could teacher regular math as well. I taught in an inner-city school for six years.
I thought I wanted to be an administrator, but when I shadowed my supervisor for a year I realized I wouldn’t really interact with the students and would be managing teachers who may be stuck in their ways and don’t want to change. However, I became sick and needed an open-heart surgery. During my recovery, I started to think how I needed a break from teaching because maybe it was causing me too much stress. This is when I began nannying. During these years, I realized that this job wasn’t very fulfilling for me, and I decided that I wanted to go back to teaching.
Though some days can be very draining, I absolutely love what I do. I teach special education learning strategies (organization, mentoring, advocating and tutoring) to the lower quartile student population and Student Government Association (SGA) to the higher quartile student population. I really have the best of both worlds!
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