When I was 15 and volunteering in the Central YMCA summer fun “Project” with Bill Suzuki, I decided I wanted to be a special ed teacher. The Project was probably grant-funded and was intended to mainstream students from the target school, Diamond Head School for the Deaf and the Blind, into regular YMCA activities. There were about 15 deaf and blind kids enrolled, many with other disabilities as well. The work culture at the Y was inclusive and collegial, and I thrived that year as a volunteer, and returned for 5 more years as a paid Counselor.
Fast-forward 6 years to college graduation: no ed courses, no foundation on which I could base a career other than a Bachelor’s degree in German Language. I toyed with an Army career until my dad talked me into enrolling in library school. (How he knew there was such a school is still a mystery to me.)
Fast-forward again 40 years to 2012, and I am finally getting my opportunity to teach – though not special ed. I’ve got some excellent mentors who are providing me with good questions for my orientation, which happens next week. Stay Tuned!