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Autobiographical Essay

Monica Olmos

Professor LueLinda Egbert

EDUC 201 Foundations of Education

Spring 2019


This paper will explore why I have chosen a future in education. My educational background,

previous work experiences, and other services and extracurricular activities have all built upon

my reasons toward becoming a professional educator.


Autobiographical Essay:

I will always remember being in first grade during the attack of the Twin Towers. My

teacher spoke to us about what was going on, and even though we were young and didn’t really

understand it all, she helped us feel safe. She told us that even though bad things were occurring

in the world, that she would be there for us. I saw teachers as superheroes because they were

always happy and willing to help us when we feared something or someone. That was the first

time I thought of becoming a teacher.

Educational Background

My education began at Horizon Elementary, where I first discovered how much I enjoyed

learning as well as making friends. I then went on to Central Elementary, where I started hanging

out with the wrong people and my grades took a little slip. My parents always expected me to do

well in school, so my grades quickly went back up once my parents were notified about my

grades dropping. I went on to the Old Middle School (which we then were all switched into the

new Jerome Middle School) I joined the soccer team, which helped my grades stay up, and got

me to be more involved in school. I later went on to Jerome High School where I joined track my

junior year, did work-based learning my senior year and became a member of TRiO.

Work-based learning is like the field experience we do at the College of Southern Idaho,

in which we are going to the workplace and getting a better understanding of the duties and the

knowledge that is required for the job. For my work-based learning, I went back to my first-

grade classroom. I enjoyed my experience there because I was able to see how students of a

different age group learn. I was also able to see how the teacher would adjust what she taught for

the students who were behind. I was given the opportunity to read them books, help them on

their assignments, and work with them in groups.


When I had first joined the TRiO program, I didn’t realize how beneficial it would be to

me in the long run. I was able to go visit different universities around Idaho. When it came to

apply to the universities, they even paid for the application fee. The TRiO program also helped

me apply for financial aid. Being a first-generation student, I don’t think I would have been able

to figure out FAFSA without them. I attended a summer semester at Idaho State University

because of the TRiO program as well, and I didn’t have to pay anything.

I am currently attending CSI where I am working on getting my Associates in Education.

When I first graduated high school, I was unsure of where I would be going with my education. I

had a plan, but I didn’t think I would be able to accomplish it, it was unrealistic. I took a few

years away from school, but now I can see the plan I have set up as realistic. I feel that I am

doing what I have always wanted to do and having the experience of working with children in

the past is reassuring.

Work History

I started working around the age of twelve cleaning houses with my mom. To this day, no

matter what other jobs I may have, I still help her work whenever she needs me. When I first

started working with her, I found it so cool that my mom was my boss and that I would always

get to hang out with her; instead of staying home in the summer being bored. I used to not realize

how hard her job was until she started sending me off to clean houses on my own. Helping my

mom clean houses was an eye opener. I remember thinking that if I didn’t go onto college, I

would probably continue cleaning houses for the rest of my life. That became my real-life


Around junior year of high school, I was working less with my mom because I was busy

with school and sports. I thought it would be a better idea to find a job where I could work after

practice. I had a family member that worked at Wendy’s at the time, and I was hired right away.

I worked there for about three years. I learned about customer service, as well as the importance

of getting along with my co-workers. I also learned that everything had to be done quickly, but

efficiently. When customers would complain about their orders not being correct it became our

responsibility to make them happy. We were a team, everyone had to work together to make

accomplish the goals of the restaurant.

About a month after I had started working at Wendy’s, I was offered a job at the Jerome

Recreation District as a receptionist. I enjoyed working out and thought that it would be a great

opportunity. My parents didn’t really support my decision on having two jobs, but they told me

that if I kept my grades up it would be okay. Through this job I found another family. My

manager and her family were great people and didn’t treat us just as co-workers, but as family.

When I first started working there, my responsibilities were to make sure all the equipment was

kept clean, and helping customers choose which membership was right for them. About a year or

so later, I started helping with some of the kids’ fitness classes as well as the adult classes. I also

became a Kids’ Camp leader and helped with other activities that the recreation center did for the

community. I learned how important it was to keep track of any allergies or health concerns that

the children had, I also received my CPR certificate. I ended up working there for about five


I currently work for the Jerome School District as a substitute and find that this is my

favorite job yet. I started working there at the beginning of this school year and have already

learned so much. My first week as a substitute a few of the teachers at Jerome High School told

me that I would be burned-out by the end of the school year. They explained to me why they

thought substituting was so hard. I have had so many heartfelt moments as well as moments

where I want to run out of the classroom, but I know that being in the schools is where I want to

be. I have learned that it isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. I plan to continue as a substitute until I get

my teaching degree.

Service and Extracurricular Activities

During high school I was involved in track, church youth group, Friends of Rachel, and a

representative for student government. Friends of Rachel was a club that helped to reduce

violence the schools. The first few years after graduating from Jerome High School, I continued

volunteering for the soup kitchen that was held a few times a week, as well as helping in some of

the church retreats for the youth. I always enjoyed the ability to help others because even though

we are all capable of doing so, not everyone makes the time. Once my daughter was born, I

stepped away from the extracurricular activities I was involved in to focus on her.

I have learned how important it is to be able to work as a team and how much knowledge

you can acquire from communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds. Helping

others has also given me the opportunity to view life in a different way; people do not always

have an easy life or have access to the same resources. When focusing on an educational

perspective, I now understand that so many students come to school carrying other problems on

their shoulders. Whether it be poverty, abuse, or living with a single parent if they do not

understand the content in the classroom, it just adds to their problems. By becoming a teacher, I

want to be able to help all students, especially those who struggle, to not have to think of their

education as just another burden on their shoulders.

Reasons for Choosing Education as a Career

As a young child, with the possibility of being anything I wanted to be, my first option

was to become a teacher. As I grew older and realized that there was a lot more to getting your

dream job than just choosing it, I started to think a little harder. When I was in my senior year of

high school, I had decided I wanted to be a personal trainer, or a dietician. I was focusing a lot on

my health at the time and thought that was what I really wanted to do. I started my higher

education at Idaho State University but ended up coming home after one semester. I continued

my education at the College of Southern Idaho, but as time went on, I realized that I was

stressing too much over my classes and had to take a break. I ended up taking about two years

off, and it wasn’t until I started substituting in the schools that I decided I wanted to teach.

I’ve had many different learning experiences in the classrooms, but they all help me

become a better substitute. My favorite thing about my job is when I try something new with the

students; for example, when I am with a group of students for more than one day and notice how

much they enjoy being on their phones and not doing their work, I give them limits. I let them

know that if they do their work without being on their phones for thirty minutes then the last ten

minutes, they can use their phones. In the high school, this has been very effective. Students see

substitutes and tend to try to take advantage of them. When I give the students a choice, they

choose to do what is right and that is always a good feeling.

Another experience I had with a student the other day was at parent-teacher conferences.

During conferences, I helped parents who are Spanish speaking, by being an interpreter. I went

into a classroom with a child who was in first grade. His parent worked night shifts, and in the

mornings, when the bus would come, he would hide in the closet so he wouldn’t have to go to

school. There were many days when his mother would get home from work and panic because

he hadn’t arrived at school. Being in this conference was very touching. This little boy wasn’t

skipping school because he didn’t enjoy it, but because he was missing his family in Mexico, and

felt lonely. His teacher told him that she was glad he had recently been attending school and told

him that he was a very bright student who could be anything he wanted when he grew up. I

thought the look on his little face was the sweetest. Teaching has some very intrinsic benefits and

moments like this one are why I have chosen Education as my career. I want to be able to let

students know that they are in school for a reason and that their education is important.

Professional Goals

My long-term goals are to become a secondary education teacher. I would like to teach

either Math or English in any grade above sixth. I am also interested in helping with GEAR-UP

(Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). This program is

designed to raise the number of low-income students who get a college degree. I plan on

achieving my goals by finishing my degree at the College of Southern Idaho and continuing onto

Idaho State University.

My short-term goals are to pass my classes one semester at a time, focus on the amount

of credits I take per semester, and the workload of each individual class. I plan on continuing my

job as a substitute teacher because being inside the classroom is the best way to learn more about

my career and the way students learn. I plan on reaching these goals by staying on top of my

grades so I can continue to qualify for financial aid. As a mother, a student, and a substitute I

sometimes take on more work than I can handle and that isn’t always the smartest choice. In

order to be successful and accomplish getting a degree, I need to make time for everything that is

important, including myself.


According to several educators I have interviewed, “If I choose a job I love, I will never

work a day in my life”. I finally can relate to this because I love what I am doing. I enjoy being

around children and helping them. There will be days that are tougher than others, but that

doesn’t stop me from wanting to be a teacher. Learning and growing from everyday experiences

is what I am looking forward to the most. Although I will be the teacher, I know that I will learn

from my students and hope to be able to teach them in a way that they can use what they learned

in the classroom in their everyday lives.



Marshall, Beverly. (2019, March 15). Personal Interview.

Raley, Melissa. (2019, March 17). Personal Interview.