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Wanting Something Stable

Like many American Board graduates, Tia Hernandez did not always know she was meant to have a teaching career. After earning her bachelor’s degree in only three years, she moved from her home in Missouri to New York City to work as an actor. Despite balancing multiple jobs, Tia was frustrated to realize she wasn’t as financially secure as she wanted to be. She moved back to Missouri, unsure what she would do next.

Ambitious and ready to work, Tia said “I knew I wanted a job that was stable, one that would make me happy.” Because Tia had worked as a teacher’s assistant in college, a friend encouraged her to try substitute teaching. Tia absolutely loved the role and the positive impact she could make. For Tia, the rest was history; she’d found the work she was meant to do.

Starting Your Teaching Career

On Tia’s first day as a substitute, she was assigned to a kindergarten classroom. Even after stints subbing in other grades, her heart always returned to kindergarten. Tia likes that younger students aren’t afraid to ask questions and that they’re curious. She says “the kids are so sweet.”

Tia was soon hired as an instructional assistant in a school where she frequently subbed. Two weeks later she enrolled in a teacher certification program because she realized she wanted to be a full-time teacher. Using American Board’s teacher certification program, Tia had her certificate in hand within seven months. In fact, Tia was hired for her first teaching position before she finished the program. This was possible because she knew she would have her certification completed in time for the upcoming school year. 

Now in her second year at Kansas City Public School District, Tia is teaching first grade. She began in kindergarten—as she envisioned she would—but actually looped with her students and moved with them to first grade. Tia says “they are great kids and I have such a good relationship with their parents because we’ve been together for so long.” She knows her experience has been unique and says “it’s been such a cool experience for my first two years teaching.” Tia is now going to continue teaching first grade.

Best of all, Tia says “I really love my district. I have found so much opportunity and support here.” 

Why American Board

Tia chose American Board’s online certification program because of the self-paced scheduling. As determined and driven as she is, she knew she could complete the program quickly. Because of her age, Tia is used to studying on a computer, so the online aspect of the program felt natural to her.

When pursuing her teaching certificate online, Tia found American Board’s resources to be very helpful. In particular, she liked the estimated timelines provided in the Study Plan. Using the Study Plan, she finished the program in a matter of months. Furthermore, Tia found American Board’s webinars to be helpful as she worked through the program. Lastly, she prepared for her final certification exams by using the provided practice quizzes and tests in a timed environment.

Because of her success with American Board’s online teacher certification program, Tia is now pursing an online master’s degree in educational technology. Tia said, “I didn’t pursue a masters to avoid being labeled as alternatively trained. I did it because I want to build on my teaching certificate. I believe the diversity of my training experiences has made me more valuable.”

Tia is not alone in the success she has found with American Board. Visit American Board’s Blog to learn about how other teachers have used an online certification program to teach. Additionally, American Board’s Youtube page is updated daily with testimonials from program graduates.

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