I graduated from University of Michigan with a English Literature degree and marched straight to graduate school at Harvard to earn my Master’s in Education. I knew in my gut I wanted to teach the subject I loved so much.
What took me my surprise was that my graduate classes inspired me to join the special education field. My path diverged slightly.
I was fortunate to find a job right after graduating where I had the opportunity to combine my two degrees: I taught high school English literature and writing to students with special needs, specifically learning disabilities and attention disorders.
Of course, this was no small task, despite what inspirational, high-budget movies suggest. Most students who struggle in a subject do not revel in going to that class– regardless of how enthusiastic their bright-eyed, ponytailed teacher is!
I adapted, stuck with it, and got in a groove. It felt good. I was making a difference, and I could see that difference with my eyes every single day. It was tiring and often draining, but I loved that job and gained incredible amounts of wisdom and experience there.
Fast forward to 2010…the life-changing birth of my son! There was a short but unforgettable detour as I stayed home with him while he was little.
But then! I had the fortunate chance to take another slight detour when my sweet girl was born two years later. I stayed in the thick baby–and-toddler rearing for another couple of years. It was a crazy ride, but one I am grateful to have had.
Once my daughter was in preschool, I was ready to dust off my teaching hat. I had maintained my Minnesota teaching license (K-12 Learning Disabilities) during those foggy, busy, joyful early Motherhood years with the required continuing education credits. I took on 1-3 students at a time and so enjoyed getting back in the teaching-learning swing of things.
This brings us to 2021.
Maybe it’s the pandemic. Maybe it’s where I am in life. Maybe it’s the students I’ve worked with over the years. So many things converged and right around Christmas, I realized it was time to Make It Official.
I formed my LLC (Limited Liability Company) last week, and I feel invigorated and ready to devote more time to students who need reading help. Families are stretched thin right now, and I think I can help provide support.
I’m currently tutoring virtually only, which means I can work with students regardless of how close they live. The bonus is that parents have one less drive to make, and students can work in the comfort of their own homes.
I wish all of you a happy 2021! May you make this the year to tackle that “next” challenge you’ve been dreaming up for far too long.
Julia Arnold Tutoring LLC