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Seeking More Involvement

After a stable career as an optician, Robin Larrabee moved her family to south Florida and decided to pursue a teaching career. Her children were just about school-aged and she wanted to be more educated about, and involved with, their schooling experience. For that reason, Robin capitalized on her English degree and began the transition to teaching in Florida.

“What If I love This?”

Robin got involved at her local school and quickly fell in love with the prospect of teaching, which she then realized was her biggest fear. Loving the job would mean that she had to get certified, and what if that proved to be too hard? Luckily, she learned about American Board’s online teacher certification program and was able to make her dream a reality.

As many teachers do, Robin says her students are the best part of the job. Equally important, however, she has since discovered an unexpected perk of the job. Robin says “the biggest surprise was the comradery among teachers. I made and still have really good friends who are teachers.”

Benefits of Transitioning to Teaching

Robin notes that there are certain benefits to transitioning to teaching as a second career. She says “everyone I know who had a career prior to teaching, is a better teacher because of it. If you have a grasp on the world, and you can apply that to the classroom, it’s a no brainer. We understand the world outside of the four walls of the school, and the students appreciate that.”

Robin continues, “when students learn I had a life before teaching, they look at me differently. I tell them things about the corporate world, or job applications, and real life and they listen because they know I’ve been there.” It helps that Robin respects her students as well. She says, “they’re only 17 but their opinions are still valid. I don’t know everything and I’m not afraid to tell them that.” Understandably, this mentality helps her students trust her authority and increases their willingness to learn from her.

In addition to teaching literature, Robin also teaches a media studies class, runs the yearbook, and is her schools only certified Google trainer–something that’s been helpful as she teaches from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding her transition to teaching in Florida, Robin says she’s now “active in the educator community, and life feels like it should have always been this way.”

High school literature teacher and American Board graduate Robin Larrabee attends her school’s graduation ceremony.

Pursuing Certification

Robin transitioned to teaching in Florida 15 years ago. She was one of the original American Board / ABCTE graduates and continues to teach today. Her story isn’t unique in that she is still teaching; studies show 97 percent of employing principals plan to keep their American Board-trained teachers long term.

What is unique is that 15 years ago, Robin took a rest by enrolling in a 100% online program. This is common practice now—1,000 teachers graduate from American Board’s program each year—but it wasn’t always the case. Robin says “I did some research, so I knew what I was getting into. There wasn’t a whole lot of choice at the time and American Board seemed like the better and more comprehensive program.”

American Board’s certification program is entirely online and serves career changers across the country. Click here to learn more about teacher certification. Additionally, you can click here to learn about certification in Florida. Lastly, you can hear what other graduates say about American Board by visiting our Youtube page.

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