For some people, becoming a teacher sounds like an awful lot of work. For Wanda Smith, it was work worth doing. Smith had always had a passion for teaching, but responsibilities of life got in her way. She had to take care of her sick mother, as well as her three kids before she could follow her dreams. In order to pay the bills for these duties, she got a job as the bus monitor and custodian for Brenham Independent School District in Texas.
Rather than let her dream wait in the wings, she pursued her goals at night. Her husband and kids encouraged her to follow her passions by taking classes over the course of nine years. She graduated with a bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University. Not long after her certification, she became a first-grade teacher at the school where she once scrubbed floors.
She goes above and beyond for her students, even going so far as to deliver their schoolwork directly to their homes during the pandemic. The school in turn has honored her dedication to education by giving her a bench in her name on campus grounds. They've also established a scholarship for up-and-coming educators in the district.
Following your dreams isn't always easy, but it's almost always worth it!