Hear from Kelsey Bright, an Undergrad Student

kelsey brightI work at River Valley SRA, a local special recreation association that provides individuals with disabilities recreational and social opportunities such as Special Olympic sports, dances, programs, and much more. Throughout high school, I didn’t really know what kind of career I was interested in, until I became a summer day camp counselor for RVSRA. Through this experience, I realized my passion for providing additional support to children with disabilities. The camp focuses on social skills, relationship-building, and individual growth. After spending time with these children, I am more than a camp counselor; I am a mentor and a friend, and the feeling of pure joy that I get whenever I interact with my campers is what made my decision to be a special education teacher a no-brainer. It is so rewarding to see all they accomplish during my time with them.

The feeling of pure joy that I get whenever I interact with my campers is what made my decision to be a special education teacher a no-brainer.

I am pursuing this career at Illinois State University, where I will be a senior this coming fall. I am currently focusing on obtaining a teaching position after graduation, and because there are so many different opportunities in special education, I would be open to anything. The most rewarding part about going into special education is making a difference in a child’s life, and as a teacher, I will have the privilege to become part of many unique lives. I feel lucky that my job revolves around helping them be as happy and independent as possible as they overcome challenges and recognize their own potential. For example, I taught reading/language arts in a 3rd-5th academic resource room and I have experience working on life skills with my students, both of which I really enjoyed. Graduate school is definitely on my mind, and I am interested in attending it down the road.

The most rewarding part about going into special education is making a difference in a child’s life, and as a teacher, I will have the privilege to become part of many unique lives. I feel lucky that my job revolves around helping them be as happy and independent as possible as they overcome challenges and recognize their own potential.

I would definitely use this website when I decide to pursue a master’s degree. It will provide easy access to information that will help me decide which path to take in my education based on my career goals. I also plan to use this website throughout my career because teaching is an ongoing learning experience, and it is vital to keep up with teaching strategies so that students are receiving the best education. I will have many different resources once I become a teacher, and this website will be one of them!

-Kelsey Bright

Illinois State University (’17)