She thought success was chasing a degree in nursing. But after a semester of teaching at a high school, Kiara Hervey started to redefine success.
Life After College
I graduated with a degree in applied physiology, a degree that didn’t have a direct correlation to a job like business. Finding a job that fit my degree after college was a bit hard. But with the healthcare industry being so large, I didn’t know where to start.
So, I stayed close to what I knew. I built upon my experience as an Education Coordinator and wrote the science curriculum for a summer program in West Dallas. After the summer ended, I was going to go to nursing school the next spring. I only had a small window of free time, and really wanted a good paying job until I went back to school. Because I had always placed myself in a classroom over the years, I started substitute teaching. But while I was subbing, my passion changed.
My First Time in the Classroom
When I was subbing, the kids listened to me. I enjoyed being in front of the classroom and I felt like I could do good in this field. I started believing I had a gift for teaching, and knew I had to use it. So the day before nursing school, I decided to be a teacher.
Making the jump from nursing school student to teacher took some time. I started researching how to become a teacher, and ended up in Texas’ certification program. I passed the life sciences test, and then received a probationary certificate. To get off probation, I had to complete a full year of teaching. While getting my certificate, my sister’s coworker referred me to Uplift Education. By May I had an offer to teach senior anatomy and freshman biology.
During my first year, I was running around with my head cut-off. I spent time trying to learn the school’s lingo and culture. On a daily basis, I managed about 200 kids of all different ages, developmental styles, and personalities. I started to teach my kids about more than biology; I started teaching social tolerance and innovation.
Why Teaching is a Great Career
Switching my mindset for teaching also switched my mindset for my career. With teaching, the promotions take you out of the classrooms. Knowing that being a high school teacher would be my peak was a bit difficult for me to swallow.
But I realized success had less to do with the size of my paycheck and more to do with the amount of lives I could change. Teaching content is maybe 20% of my whole job. Teachers train students for the workforce. America doesn’t run without an education system. The education system is the start of everything.
Read more about Kiara’s professional journey in Issue 7 of Forty Magazine.