RealJobs: Natasha Diokno

Describe your current job.: As an Academic Coach for Hoke County Schools it is my job to  support students and classroom teachers.  I observe lessons, offer feedback on  instruction, and model lessons for teachers. Also, it is my job to collect and analyze assessment data.  Sometimes I cover classrooms, sit in on interviews for new hires, and help teachers with students with behavioral problems.

What types of work activities take up most of your time? Paperwork takes up a large amount of my time.  I would love to maximize my time in the classroom.

What made you decide upon your current career? I have always loved working with children.  As a teenager, I taught the Toddlers Sunday School Class.  As a college student, I did quite a bit of peer tutoring and editing.  I have a passion for learning  and I enjoy being with children.

Is there anything you do that you would have never assumed would be part of your job?  Cleaning tables.  I went to college thinking I would not have to clean tables and sweep floors if I got a degree : )  I have breakfast duty every morning, so I start my day off in the cafeteria with the students.  The great part about breakfast duty is that I am able to interact with a large number of students.  I remind them to eat and get to class because their teachers are waiting.  The students love passing out hugs and making funny faces to show the empty spaces left by missing teeth :  )  The worse part about breakfast duty is cleaning up puddles of Cocoa Puffs and Trix.

Describe your career path since graduation.  I worked as a Special Needs teacher for six years in the Boston Public School System.  My husband and I moved to Arizona where I worked as a primary teacher for three years before becoming a literacy coach for seven years I am currently working as an academic coach.

Is there any sort of career preparation (graduate degree; internships, etc.) that is vital to your field?  You need a degree in education and a teaching license to work in the field.

What sorts of jobs/internship/campus activities did you do as an undergraduate?  As an undergraduate, I worked for the AHANA office as a tutor, a Preceptor and Counselor (OTE), and as an assistant in the B.C. Career Center.

What do you know now that you wish you had known as an undergraduate?  Take life one day at a time and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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