Since I was a kid, I've always loved school. Like many other teachers I know, I was always a conscientious student. I still love staying organized, and yep, I have a weird thing for office supplies.
I also loved art. When I got accepted to USC to pursue a degree in art, I immediately landed a job as a graphic designer on campus as my work-study job. I worked there all through school, and when I graduated, I found contract design work in San Francisco with a retail company. While I loved being creative and working with other creative people, I started to wonder about trying teaching in some way. I thought about how some of my favorite designers were teachers in their own right, teaching design and finding ways to give advice to novice designers.
Upon browsing through local jobs online, I found a job supervising an after-school program near my house. I figured it might be a fun, fulfilling way to teach art and illustration to kids, while also helping them with homework and organizational skills. I just had no idea what I was in for.
Before I knew it, I was managing 90 kids and a dozen teachers, tutoring several students at a time, and generally just trying to keep track of everything that came my way. I felt like I was starting to loose control in the first few months, but by the time winter break came around, I actually started to miss those kids. I realized that I loved my job more than I had ever loved a job before. For the first time, I really felt appreciated for working hard, not necessarily by the other adults I worked with, but by the kids. They were the ones that made me excited to come to work. Some students were tough with regard to their behavior, but often those were ironically the kids who showed me the most appreciation for my efforts to help them. I realized that teaching might be what I need to be doing.
Working with the after-school program has now faded into working toward my teaching credential full-time. I hope that one day my students will feel the same way about school that I do. It's been tough at times, but I think if I can make a difference, it's what I need to be doing.
Hi, my name is Alexis Markavage. I'm a student teacher and a Multiple Subject Credential candidate at Dominican University of California. I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design, but now I'm continuing my education to work in education. I hope to work as an upper elementary school teacher.