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Teresa Hall knows that schools are more than where we simply teach children. Schools are an integral part of our communities; schools help shape our children into the adults they will become. When Teresa’s daughter enrolled in kindergarten at the local Episcopal Day School, Teresa could feel that the school was special. When her daughter entered the 4th grade, Teresa decided to transition from a career in accounting to education. It wouldn’t be long before she settled into a role in school administration.

A Career Change

Teresa knew that if she was to enter a career in education, it would be at the local Episcopal school. Her daughter was attending and Teresa says, “honestly, I fell in love with my daughter’s school and the teachers there.  I spoke to her 2nd grade teacher and told her I was considering a career change. She knew me well and encouraged me. When I found American Board’s program, it seemed like the perfect fit.”

Teresa enrolled in American Board’s online teacher certification program. She was then offered a position as a teaching assistant for 5th and 6th grade, which Teresa notes was great because it gave her classroom experience as she worked through her certification program. She studied the material at her own pace and then applied what she had learned in the classroom. Teresa says that the skills she gained while working as a teaching assistant, such as classroom management, helped as she prepared for her certification exams. Asked why she chose American Board’s online certification program, Teresa says, “it was the best fit for me. It gave me the opportunity to focus on the areas that I needed to and was at my pace.”

It wasn’t long before Teresa was fully-certified and accepted a full-time teaching position. She says, “after I passed my exams, I taught 4th grade for four years. We are departmentalized in 4th grade so I taught language arts. It was a wonderful, fulfilling experience.”

Moving to School Administration

Now, Teresa says, “I am beginning my tenth year as Director of Admission and Enrollment Management with the 2020-2021 school year. The transition was natural because it married my background in business with my education experience. I have been a parent, teacher, and administrator in this amazing school so it is very easy for me to share it with prospective families. My children are portraits of our graduates and this is my ministry.” 

Earning an American Board teaching certification can propel future teachers to the career of their dreams, whether that be working as Teacher of the Year at a local school, teaching through an online/virtual school, or teaching internationally. Teresa’s story highlights how American Board’s certification can be leveraged to a role in school administration.

Florida educator and American Board Graduate Teresa Hall is in her 10th year working in administration at the local school her daughter attended.

Should You Make A Career Change?

When asked if leaving accounting for school leadership was the right move, Teresa says, “I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” She continues to say that a career in education is “the most rewarding.”

Teresa says the best part of working in education is the students. “Getting to have a relationship with the children—their stories, their accomplishments, their struggles, their laughter—the whole journey.”

Teresa tells of how rewarding her second career has been. One activity at her school involves bringing back students who graduated the elementary program and are now about to graduate high school. During this event, former students come back for a reception and receive a special blessing from the priest. The students share their college plans. This event gives the school community a chance to “reconnect and celebrate their successes before they leave for college.” Teresa says, “at one of these events a former student reminded me how she loved performing and that I let her stand on my desk and sing one time and it was one of her favorite memories. She is now finishing art school.”

Moments like this, or the time a former student came back and talked about how much Teresa helped her with her confidence, confirm that Teresa made the right career move.

If you believe you’re ready for a life-changing career in education, learn more about certification by visiting www.americanboard.org. Visit American Board’s Youtube page to hear from other program graduates about their current teaching experiences.

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