Janitor Becomes A Teacher At The School She Worked For

It was Irish writer, Oscar Wilde, who said that “one can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Education is something that is a wonderful pursuit and investment at any age.

In fact, when it comes to pursing your dreams there really is never a time limit. Take Wanda Smith, for example. The 48-year-old had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. However, life had other plans.

The married mom of three had various responsibilities to take care of, including caring for her elderly mother. In order to provide for her family she took work as a custodian and a bus monitor at the Brenham Independent School District.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

Even though her schedule was very tight, she wasn’t ready to give up on her dream of becoming a teacher. At 39, she decided to start taking night classes. She was encouraged by her husband, who wanted to see his wife follow her dreams.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

It took her nine years, but she eventually became a certified teacher with a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University, and she did it all while maintaining her full time jobs at the school district.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

But perhaps the best turn of events was when she was hired as a first-grade teacher at Brenham Elementary School – one of the schools within the district that she’d been working for.

Unfortunately, her mother didn’t get a chance to see Smith fulfill her goal, but she knows that she would be incredibly proud of her achievement.

In the interview below with TODAY, Smith said, “When I stand in front of my classroom—my classroom—I am living my dream.”

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

Smith has definitely had a challenge on her hands as many of her students struggled with remote learning due to the pandemic. Still, Smith persevered and came up with solutions for both her students and their families.

Since she worked in the district for a long time, she understood that many of her students were from single-parent homes. Wanting to help make things easier for these hard-working parents, Smith took it upon herself to personally deliver packets of schoolwork to her students at their homes. What an incredibly caring teacher!

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

Her care and compassion did not go unnoticed, as Smith’s first-grade class got a chance to declare their affection for their teacher through a surprise commemoration on the TODAY show.

At the celebration, the students were shown holding up signs in support of their teacher as Brenham mayor, Milton Tate Jr., officially deemed May 4th as “Be the Best You Can Be” Wanda Smith Day – one of her personal sayings.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

Watch the full interview below:

Support Literacy

Help supply books to kids in need at The Literacy Site for free!

Whizzco