The Job of My Life

Yoana Gonzalez  

            When I arrived in this country I wanted a job in which I could work and learn at the same time because the more you learn, the more prepared you are to succeed. The first few jobs I had were at fast food restaurants. They were tough, provided no real work experience to learn from, and were definitely not what I was looking for. As a result I started searching for the perfect job, and I found it. My job title is Specialized Special Education Autism Paraprofessional, which amounts to working with children that have special needs including Autism Spectum Disorder or ASD. The things I like about my job are the job duties, the schedule, and the benefits.

            When I started working as an Autism Paraprofessional, I felt like a fish out water because it was a different type of work from what I was used to. This type of work includes a variety of tasks like reading, writing, math, language activities, recreational activities and art projects, all of which require patience and effort to keep the children's attention. Due to their special needs, these kids demand a lot of attention, so I work individually with all of them throughout the day. We rotate small groups of children every 15 minutes, and have stations in our room for each of us to help keep the children focused. The fact that I am learning something new every day is important because eventually I will be eligible to get a higher wage or even a  better position in this field.

            Another reason I like this job is the schedule, which never changes or interrupts my weekend. I have the best schedule possible, working Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This allows me to have weekends off to relax and do whatever I want. In this position I also have the same vacation as the children. This schedule is perfect for me because I get home early in the afternoons to spend time with my own child.

            The last but not least important aspect of this job is the benefits and salary it offers me. This job provides full medical and dental insurance. Due to that, I do not have to pay a penny when I visit a clinic or a dental office. Also, this job gives me an excellent salary that allows me to pay my personal expenses and gives me extra money for entertainment and savings. Another benefit is the 68-hour paid vacation I receive at the end of each school year, which allows me to enjoy my vacation time with my daughter. I love the benefits this work offers me, since it gives me financial security.

            I am very pleased with this job as an autism paraprofessional. I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge by working in this field. I have helped teach autistic children basic skills in school as well as social skills for the community, and have helped them interact with other children. Through the many art and science projects, many of the children have learned to express their wants, needs and creativity; moreover, the personal gains are just as rewarding. To end the work day knowing that I've accomplished so much in helping these children succeed makes me happy. If I can get one child to hold a spoon or say a word, then I have succeeded. That's the greatest reward of all. This is the job I have always wanted!