"I stopped refusing the call" ~Carly Wise
This is, perhaps, one of the most profound and insightful responses to the very first question I ask when interviewing for the Springer Staff Spotlight, “How did you get into education?”
While everyone’s path to teaching is unique, for those who find themselves drawn toward special education, I hold fast to the notion that there is a common thread pulling them in that direction…and it’s most often a personal thread. For Carly Wise, that personal thread didn’t immediately translate into always wanting to become a teacher, but the story of her detour in getting here doesn’t disappoint.
She shared that she didn’t think she wanted to be a teacher, but she kept finding herself drawn to the processes. Heavily influencing this attraction to the profession was witnessing the struggles her brother with autism frequently encountered in school. Pair that with her keen interest in social justice, Carly says that these two factors “just started to overlap” and the path to teaching began to reveal itself.
Initially, Carly began working for Ameircorp as a tutor for an inner-city school in Detroit. She shares that, while not always an easy job, it did feel rewarding to realize you were having a positive impact on a student.
At this point, you may be thinking…wow, Detroit is a long way from Cincinnati. So how did Carly go from tutoring in Detroit to teaching at Springer? Well…let me tell you…this is where Carly’s story truly shines a light on the type of teacher and amazing human being that she is.
If there is ever a super-confluence of circumstances, Carly’s path to Springer certainly qualifies. Living in Cincinnati at this point, Carly’s work at that time was not very fulfilling and didn’t provide enough hours. She would drive by Springer on her way to this “not so fulfilling work” and decided to inquire about volunteering at the school. This timing also coincided with her deciding to take master’s classes in special education. What may seem random or coincidental, I like to think of as kismet. There is no doubt that Carly was truly meant to become a member of the Springer family.
While completing her student teaching through the University of Cincinnati, Carly advocated very strongly to complete her student teaching at Springer, but that was apparently a no-go with the university. And, throwing another speed bump in the road to teaching, Carly had some personal circumstances take precedence at the time, so starting her teaching career was a bit more delayed.
But this never deterred Carly from her goal.
Finally, in 2017 Carly began her tenure at Springer as Instructional Assistant to Kristy Ilg. However, it didn’t take long for Carly to find her groove and the next year she began teaching math in middle school, where she continued for the next three years.
Adding to her list of accomplishments, Carly was tapped to teach algebra and then transitioned into a math and technology specialist role, where she teaches student development and technology classes that combine the study skills and strategies our students so desperately need. And lastly, I am incredibly thankful to have Carly as a teammate in Adventures in Summer Learning. In her summer role as lead instructor for study skills, Carly was instrumental in piloting the SMARTS program, which we plan to continue for many summers to come.
Perhaps best capturing why Carly is such an important part of the Springer family are the words she feels others would use to describe her, along with her words of advice to parents and teachers. In three words, Carly hopes that others would describe her as genuine or sincere, thoughtful (“I’m a thinker”), and prudent or fair. To parents and teachers, Carly encourages you to give yourself grace.
“You're going to make mistakes, students are going to make mistakes. Forgive and move on.”
Leaving you with some amazing words of inspiration, when asked what inspires her, Carly responded “Funny students or students with a sense of humor. I know that’s not very inspirational but it’s what keeps me going. When a student makes me laugh, I want to persevere.”
But Carly and I disagree. Finding purpose in other’s happiness is probably the sincerest form of inspiration we can find. Persevere…you have! Thank you for sharing your light with Springer.
If you want to hear and see Carly in action, join us for our next informational presentation on January 12th at 6:30 on the Springer campus. Carly will be sharing her expertise in the live presentation of Study Skills: Help Your Child Start Fresh in the New Year. Click HERE to register.
Blogger Lisa Bruns, M.Ed., Special Education, shares her expertise of students with learning disabilities. As a special educator, she has expert knowledge of interventions and accommodations that students may need to succeed in and out of the classroom. If you have questions, please contact Center Director Lisa Bruns at .