By Linette Y. Caroselli
Never in a million years did I think I would ever become a teacher. My dream was to be the next Barbara Walters. I always had a passion for journalism. I would watch the evening news and tell myself one day, I would be on TV. Well, life had other plans.
I graduated from Bloomfield College with a B.A. in English Communications in 1996, a year late. I had a little baby girl. Walking across that stage to get my degree was a huge accomplishment because people told me I wouldn’t be able to finish. Shortly, a chance meeting at a BBQ would change my life forever.
There were five teachers from Newark, New Jersey, in attendance. We began talking about education specifically writing because after all I was going to be the next Barbara Walters. They told me that wasn’t my calling. Teaching kids Language Arts was. The look on my face must have been comical. Me, a teacher?
I was told it was the perfect job given my situation as a young mother. I went to the East Orange Board of Education and applied for a substitute position to give it a try. The lady taking my information saw my hesitation and said, “Don’t worry. The kids will let you know the first day if this is the job for you or not.” She was right.
That day turned into a year. That year turned into 21 years. I have never looked back.
Teaching to me is one of the greatest blessings in my life! I have had the opportunity to positively impact the lives of over 1700 children from all walks of life. I have inspired, motivated, guided, fed, clothed, mentored and most importantly developed future adults into productive individuals. I am so very proud to be in this profession that makes all others possible. I knew I would never get rich doing this but the rewards are priceless. I am more than a teacher; I am a mentor, a confidant, a 2nd mom, and a role model.
As I move into the next venture of my life as a possible city council member, my role as a teacher will play a vital role in the decisions I make. The impact of my decisions is carefully considered because they affect lives. I will now have the opportunity to positively impact an entire city.
Linette Caroselli is an eighth grade ELA teacher at Desert Wind Middle School and a candidate for City Council.