North Summit teacher finds her true calling | ParkRecord.com

North Summit teacher finds her true calling

As her children grew, leaving her more time alone at home, Alisia Bingham began soul searching. She pondered how she would spend the rest of her life, whether there was something she could become passionate about waiting outside the walls of her home.

She eventually took a part-time job about six years ago working with special needs students at North Summit Middle School. It was there, as she watched teachers interacting with students, that it hit her unexpectedly: She wanted to become one of them.

"I had so much fun," Bingham said. "I loved watching the teachers. I loved what they were doing. And I loved watching the students get excited about learning and the power teachers had to make a difference in some students’ lives."

She was hooked. Bingham went back to college and earned her master’s degree and teaching license. Then she waited. She wanted to teach at North Summit Elementary School, but there were no open positions. Two years later, she got her wish.

She began teaching third grade this fall at North Summit Elementary. Nearly a halfway through her first year, Bingham has found teaching to be everything she wanted.

"It’s harder than I expected and it’s better than I expected," she said. "Everybody told me the first year is the absolute worst, that they cry every day, like, ‘What have I done? This is miserable.’ So I was kind of worried going in that it would be way overwhelming. But I actually really love it."

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That she enjoys her job and believes she has found her true calling does not mean there haven’t been challenges. But she said that is part of the journey — one that will hopefully leave her with a deeper understanding of how best to teach her students. She looks at her colleagues for inspiration to guide her down that path.

"I’m just peeling back the first couple of layers — the tip of the iceberg," Bingham said. "But there’s a whole lot more. Teachers who have been here for 20, 30 years, I’m just in awe of them."

Bingham wants to eventually be one of them — a teacher who made differences in hundreds or thousands of students’ lives. She is hopeful that the goal she sets each day will help put her on her way.

"Every day I hope I can find a way to teach them and let them know that I care," she said. "Those are my two biggest things — I want them to know I love them, and I want them to learn something. That’s on my mind every minute of every day."