She had a degree in business and a 9 year career in the Insurance industry, 6 of which was as a Bond Underwriter in New York City. But when her daughter was born, Kathleen made her choice – be at home with her baby girl. It was both the desire to be a hands-on mom and a grueling 4 hour commute to the City from New Jersey each day, that influenced her decision.
While she had always loved children and working with them, her separation and subsequent divorce three and a half years later triggered her decision to go back to school. She joined an accelerated teaching program and a demanding year later, had an NJ Teaching Certificate for grades Preschool-3 with a 4.0 average. When she started a job as a toddler teacher at her daughter’s Montessori school, Kathleen was very impressed with its teaching methodology; enough to hit the books again to earn her Montessori Certification through PCTE, and after another intensive program, became a full time Montessori teacher.
8 years later, Kathleen feels she’s in a great place work-wise and personally. “I enjoy my job teaching young children. I love how they live in the moment and the joy they get from learning something new.”
Outside of work, her life is busy with her now 14 year old daughter’s school and hectic softball schedule. Future plans – she wants to complete her Master’s in Special Ed. from the College of St. Elizabeth, which she had to leave halfway.
Her advice to other moms: “You can do it. Believe in yourself and take things one day at a time. Network. If you go back to school, make lots of connections with your classmates so you can help each other through it.” She counts the support from her parents and two sisters as a huge strength. “If friends or family offer to babysit, take them up on it.”
If you have questions on Montessori or NJ Teaching Certifications or either of these as a career option, please send them to us here.
I struggle with the thought of starting studying again. Great to hear the wonderful stories of courageous women who did that!
Kathleen……………….Thanks for your advise,sometimes its difficult to think beyond what you have been doing for years and also one is scared of any change.Your story is inspiring and makes one feel that you may not know what you are good at unless tried once.Thanks once again