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From Natalie to Ms. Bizarro: The Story of an American Teacher

An aspiring teacher from Los Angeles writes about her chosen profession, and the effort she has put in to preparing herself to be part of the next generation of great American teachers.

Editor’s Note: The TEACH initiative is a national teacher recruitment campaign run by the Office of the Secretary in the Department of Education.  TEACH is dedicated to recruiting the next generation of teachers and enhancing the status of the teaching profession.  In February, TEACH went to Los Angeles to the Roybal Learning Center for a town hall with Secretary Duncan and a panel of celebrities and teachers to answer students’ questions about education and to encourage them to pursue teaching.  Natalie Bizarro served on the panel.  She is a native Angelino who works for the LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program and is on her way to becoming a teacher.

In my community, success does not come easily. Like many of my friends, it has taken me 8 years now to complete my Bachelor’s degree, and I have another two remaining before I’ll earn my teaching credential. I know that all my work and effort will be worth it in the end when I finally fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. The teaching profession is a noble one that I don’t walk into with rose colored glasses. I know the hardships I may face in the classroom, but how can one find their true passion and ignore it? Even if it takes me another 4 years I know in the end I’ll be doing something that I love.

I realize I have been in school now for a long time, but while I was in college, I worked to help pay for my school and to support my family. I never had the traditional college experience because I was constantly juggling school, work, and family. Despite the challenges and hard work, I knew the importance of following my dream.

As a teacher, I will set an example for my younger brothers and sisters. I am the third of six children, and I want to show my siblings that it is possible to go to college, because when I was growing up, I didn’t have that. No one was there to support me and tell me that I could do it, or even let me know that college was an option, so I had to pursue my dreams on my own. I want my younger siblings to see my success and know they can achieve it too.

Teachers are catalysts that transform a child’s mind and provide a foundation for their development as an adult. I hope to be an example to all my students and show them that they can honestly do whatever it may be that their heart desires. I want to help them find that passion and help them to understand that it may not come easy but that because it did not, it will be that much more worth it. I want to become a teacher because I want to place myself in a position where I can affect change in my community.

Children are my passion and teaching is the avenue I’ve chosen to take. If I make a difference in one child’s life, and I’m mentioned 20 years later, it will all be worth it. To my future classes of students, I can’t wait to meet you!!

For more information on TEACH and how you can become a teacher, visit