The Strive to Become a Teacher

Michelle Gomez


Jasmine Boyens

Gomez uses social media to inform her students during Twitter Thursdays

Jasmine Boyens, Editor in Chief

Imagine working a job that has no value. Imagine listening every day to troubled teens, but realizing that you had no way to help them because that was not your responsibility. At one point, this was Michelle Gomez. Then she decided to do something. She wanted to have an impact, a purpose. So the single mother of two boys kept working while attending college full time. It was a struggle, but it’s been worth the pain. Now she does something she is passionate about and aspires to continue helping others.

Teaching was not Michelle Gomez’s first career but she had always worked in some sort of human services as well as business. However, she did not get any payoff and felt as if she wanted to do better. “It is just all about money and profits and there are no people, there’s no happiness at the end,” said Gomez on her previous jobs before becoming a teacher.

While working as a secretary at a high school, Gomez finally thought it was most necessary to become a teacher as she felt she was not in an available position to guide and help students.

Gomez went to full-time college online at Grand Canyon University while raising her two sons. Taking care of two young boys while going to college proved to be a challenge but Gomez managed to set aside time to do her work.

Gomez became a teacher to help students in need of guidance so choosing to be hired at Oak Ridge may seem an obvious choice.  

“I did have a choice between a school that had a higher reading proficiency rate… but I felt that Oak Ridge needed me more and there was more of a payoff,” said Gomez.  She feels as if kids needed more “love and guidance” just as much as academics but that some teachers may not be willing to put that extra work in.

I feel that teachers do more than just educate in their field.”

— Michelle Gomez

Gomez looks to improve herself as a teacher every year and enjoys that her job is both rewarding and challenging. She says she is always seeking to do better and reach the most amount of students. However, Gomez sometimes feels as if students slip through the cracks because she can not concentrate on every student.

“I feel that teachers do more than just educate in their field. We teach [students] how to come to the class on time, how to dress appropriately, how to talk appropriately, how to be respectful, and those are things that you don’t learn in a book” said Gomez.

Becoming an educator later in her career shows the value of high school education. Many students argue that they take classes providing information they will never use. However, it is possible for students to one day depend on their required education.

Gomez is the sponsor for I AM AP and created it after a similar program was introduced to her at a College Board function, by a middle school teacher in California.

The club is meant to be a place for students to find a calm and encouraging place to study and get help for AP classes. Gomez says she is there mostly for support as the goal of the club is really to let students help others to understand in a way that teachers might not be able to do.

Gomez described it as a “self-lead study group that [lets students] offer things that they did in the past and things that made them successful.”