SPECIAL EDUCATION MATH TEACHER
Read our Interview with Jackie below, and donate to Teach for America here!
Jackie Tosi is a Special Education Math Teacher in Mamaroneck, NY. Starting her post-college career in Finance on Wall Street, Jackie soon realized that she was not following her true passion. Jackie then decided to follow her heart and dedicate her life to educating students. A Fabulous Working Female in every way, Jackie reminds us that it is never too late to change our path, and what’s most important is to pursue a career in what makes our heart fulfilled at the end of the day.
Tell us about yourself!
Hi, I'm Jackie! I'm a Special Education Math Teacher in Mamaroneck, NY and I teach 9th-11th grade. Being a career-changer, a lot of times people ask, "Would you have changed your path if you could go back in time?" I always believe that you are right where you are supposed to be. Every stop along your journey teaches you something about yourself. I can confidently say that I wouldn't have changed a thing about the path that led me to becoming a teacher. My experiences prior to teaching allowed me to gain valuable knowledge that I bring into my classroom every day. Because of my experiences, I encourage everyone to believe in themselves and acknowledge that everyone has a unique journey.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
My journey to becoming a teacher was certainly not a straight line!
Since a young age, I had a dream of working on Wall Street. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Finance, I started my first job on Wall Street in the banking industry just 5 days after my college graduation. After some time, I realized I was not pursuing a career in this field because it was my passion. I was pursuing it so that I could prove to myself, and to others, "I can do it!" My passion didn't lie in business or finance, it was helping others. I found fulfillment teaching others how to do something, and watching them succeed. I enjoyed assisting clients, training new hires, and helping my team members achieve their goals. I knew that I had a greater purpose in life and so much more to give to this world. I decided that I could either go through the motions, or I could use my knowledge and passion for real-world mathematics, and dedicate my life to educating students about the value and purpose of math. With encouragement from my loved ones and trust in myself, I decided to stray from my "traditional" career path in business, and follow my passion for teaching. I enrolled in an accelerated Masters Program at Manhattanville College, where I am pursuing my Masters degree in Special Education and Secondary Mathematics, and began my teaching career. I have never looked back since that day, and can truly say I am the happiest I have ever been.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
During my first teaching role, I began working in Special Education and soon discovered it was my purpose in life. My heart was filled with joy, and each day I left school knowing that I had done something meaningful. The students I have had the pleasure of teaching have changed my life in the most amazing way. They have taught me about overcoming challenges, being authentic, and loving life. Nothing makes me happier than sharing positive moments with them, and watching them achieve their goals.
Can you describe what makes you feel FABULOUS when teaching/being a teacher?
What makes me feel fabulous when being a teacher is watching my students grow and challenge themselves both in and out of the classroom. With that being said, I have the opportunity to teach my students about various real-world mathematical concepts. What should you expect when you go to the bank to open an account? What is time management? How do you write a check? How do you create a budget? What is a mortgage? Math surrounds us every day, and it is such an important part of our lives. It is incredibly rewarding to watch my students have important conversations about jobs and their financial goals for the future. I know they are all going to have a tremendous impact on this world, and I'm lucky to be part of their journey.