My name is Monique Neysmith and I am a 24 year old student at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York where I major in childhood special education. When I first came to college I was not interested in becoming a teacher. I made the decision after I gave birth to my lovely daughter. There is nothing more that I love than seeing her reactions when she learns something new. The feeling of knowing that I am responsible for a child's development and growth is like no other and I want to provide other children, who may not have someone to teach them, with the same knowledge I give my daughter. I am happy that I made the decision of becoming a teacher. Learning new things in my classes and on field experiences excite me and always remind me why I chose this career. Some people tell me that I shouldn't look forward to the money because I won't be making much and I always tell them it isn't about the money. I get paid in satisfaction when I know that I contributed to a child's development.
Children are not the only people that I enjoy helping. As a part of the SEEK program, I am a peer mentor to college freshmen. I help them with their transition to college because that process can be challenging. When I was a freshman, I didn't have anybody to help me or share my experiences with other than counselors. Counselors are great but sometimes they may not understand what a student is going through like someone who may be facing the same challenges at the same time will. I had to learn from the many mistakes I made and even though part of my teaching philosophy is "self teaching is the best teaching in the world", I try to prevent freshmen from making the same mistakes I made.
Sometimes I come off as mean to people who dont know me but when people get to know me, they always say I am the sweetest, most generous, thoughtful person they know. I have such a big heart whether its for people I know or strangers. That has gotten me in trouble at times but I feel good knowing that I helped somebody.