Love What You Do: 9 Professionals Tell Us About the Path to Their Dream Jobs

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Giuliana Reitzfeld; 5th grade teacher at PS 10

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress and I did that successfully for ten years.

What was your path to being a teacher?
Once I had children I no longer felt a strong desire to act but I wanted a job that would put my creative energy to good use. I went back to college with no idea of what to pursue. I started assisting one day a week at an elementary school to fulfill a one credit deficit. And I LOVED it.

Do you like your job?
I love my job. I wake up every day excited to go to work. I am never bored and feel deeply rewarded every single day.

What is the hardest part?
The hardest parts of my job have nothing to do with teaching. The most difficult parts are dealing with the bureaucracy of it all. I have too much paper work that takes time away from planning and creating more vibrant lessons. I have over-crowded classrooms and, since I teach special ed, it is particularly tough. I think your next story should be about teacher attrition. It is a huge problem with some easy fixes.

What is the most rewarding aspect?
The most rewarding aspect is working with kids. The students are always amazing. Even when I get a “difficult” student, when I reach them it is the best feeling in the world.

If you could be anything else, what would it be?
If the ‘business” of being a teacher does not drive me away (and there are days I can definitely see that happening), there is nothing I would rather do.

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