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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Lee

Flashback~20 Years Ago, A Time Machine

It has been almost 20 years since I graduated from Scripps College! I remember that the commencement speaker said that in our lifetime, different from our parents who have the same job for 20-30 years, we would have multiple careers. The prediction cannot be more correct!

Statistics say that if you could teach more than eight years, then the chances are that you would be an educator forever. After teaching for ten years, I had an opportunity to go back to school to obtain a second degree. I was going to art college with the same generation/age group that I taught ten years ago in the first grade. Before, I was tying shoelaces for the kids. Now, I could carry long conversations with them. They drew way better than I did. I was amazed by how much they progressed!

Teaching is a rewarding career, though it didn't come without its rough beginnings. I could still recall my principal observing me. At the time, the school where I taught did not have chairs and tables. My students were wiggling around on the rug. First graders could not sit still. I had several wild boys in my class who were driving me crazy. Although they were only six-year-olds, collectively they could become a nightmare. I was or the verge of tears, wanting to give up when my principal Mrs. Jacoby took me aside to give me a pep talk. She and I continued to correspond with each other to this day.

I first started as a geometry teacher at Huntington Park High School. I was part of the LA Teaching Fellows Program from LAUSD, which became obsolete many years ago. It was a program for professionals who wanted to have a career change into teaching. (See photo below.) I was very young and naive back then!

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