Avi’s Story

When I was in high school I always wanted to be a lawyer, because I knew it required an advanced degree and paid well.  However, the more I researched and talked to lawyers the more I realized it was not for me. I went to college at Seattle University when I graduated from high school.

The best moment for during college was when I realized I belonged academically.  As a young African American woman, I struggled with self-doubt about my abilities to do as well as my classmates at my majority white college.  As I grew more comfortable within the college experience I started trusting and standing up for myself and my ideas. 

I have got my college degree in humanities which does fit well with my teaching degree.  A humanities degree gave me a strong background in writing and the social sciences (history, economics, philosophy, politics) that I’ve used every day in my teaching.  I also have a master’s degree in teaching from the Evergreen State College which I completed about 8 years after graduating from college.  

When I was 15 1/2 years old, I got my first job, working at McDonalds. Since then I have worked at childcare centers, Starbucks and Amazon to name a few.  My favorite job other than teaching was giving tours of Seattle City Lights hydroelectric dams in the North Cascades National Park!  As a teacher I like to try different things out and have worked at 5 different schools in a variety of positions. I like challenging myself and learning and seek out new opportunities whenever I get the chance.

A highlight of my career so far was the opportunity to help create a middle school from the ground up.  We did everything from pitching the idea to the school board, creating curriculum, recruiting students and then I taught there for four years. I have lots of pride in that experience because it had a positive effect on the district and is still a successful school today.

How do teachers get promoted? 

Often, teachers who are wanting to move up in this system go into administration.  That looks like starting off as a teacher, getting an advanced degree and doing an internship.  Hopefully after a year or two of interning you can then become an assistant principal and the next stop is being principal of your own school.  After that if you still want to move up the ladder you generally work at the district level overseeing a group of schools or working in another high-level capacity.

What is your favorite thing about being an adult? 

The best thing about being an adult is being able to make my own decisions in life.  As a young person I never fully felt like my life was mine, I had to ask for permission or forgiveness for many things I did. I enjoy being able to travel and be my own person

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Some adults often think I’m crazy, but I love being able to work with teenagers and it’s my favorite thing about my career choice.  The energy, curiosity, sense of justice and humor that teens have provides with me energy daily.  It has always been my biggest motivator to get up and go to work, even on the tough days.

Read more real stories about adulting here!