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My Story

The question was posed why and when did you know that you wanted to be a teacher? For me the question was turned around: When didn’t I want to be a teacher? As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. In fact, I recently found some work that my mom had saved from kindergarten that asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and my answer was teacher. I have never wavered from that calling. I was that student that was always helping the teacher and other students. I am proud to say that I am a product of the Simi Valley Unified School District. I went to Walnut Grove Elementary School (which closed in the early 1980s), Hillside Junior High School and Royal High School. I have always had great relationships with my teachers and thought the world of them. I still remember my teacher coming to visit me after I had tonsil surgery in kindergarten and other teachers staying after school to watch softball practice or games when we played on-site. It made me feel that I was important to them. I hope I do that for my students. When I started subbing for the SVUSD, I often got to work with some of my former teachers and it was very hard to believe I was now on their level.

The only jobs I have ever had revolved around teaching and children. I began teaching in 1982 at a private school. I worked there for seven years until I married. I took a few years off but as soon as I was ready to return to the workforce, I knew teaching was what I wanted to be doing. I subbed for about a year and visited nearly every school, but I felt something special whenever I would work at Katherine Elementary School. Everybody was so welcoming and warm. Just days after I turned in my application to the district office, I got the call to come interview at Katherine. The principal asked if I was willing to give the job my 100 percent, and I responded that I would give it 110 percent. I was hired and I have never looked back! I am very proud to be a Katherine Crocodile. It has been said that I bleed blue and green. I am proud of that. I was hired to teach 1st grade in 1998 and since then I have worked with students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. For me, the joy in teaching is the student’s discovery. That “ah ha” moment when they get something that they have struggled with.  How proud of themselves they are and how proud I am of them. There is no other feeling like it!

Tracy Spoor