Elissa Mapp’s journey to teaching was shaped by the challenges she faced as an elementary school student — and a teacher who helped her overcome them.
“I was a pretty rotten first grader, always headed to the principal’s office,” Elissa recalls.
“I realize now that it was because I was not getting the attention I needed at home, so I would try and get it at school. Ms. Flowers was extremely patient with me and taught me the dos and don’ts of classroom etiquette with compassion and firmness.”
Before long, Ms. Flowers’ guidance paid off. By the time Elissa reached third grade, she discovered that being a standout student was a more productive way to earn the attention she desired.
“I learned how to channel being an attention-grabber through my awesome grades, test scores, and good behavior,” Elissa says.
Mapp never lost touch with what she learned in elementary school. And now, she shares a similar message with students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a substitute teacher with Swing Education.
“I try to channel Ms. Flowers’ same energy in the classroom by giving children the necessary attention required for them to succeed,” Elissa says.
Getting Started in Education
Elissa began her career in healthcare before transitioning to education. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Applied Linguistics in the fall of 2018, she decided to pursue substitute teaching.
“I wanted to gain more experience in the classroom with my focus being in TEFL or teaching English as a foreign language,” Elissa says.
Elissa’s search for substitute teaching opportunities led her to Swing Education, which connects subs with a number of schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“I decided to work with Swing Education because the process was effortless and I have the ability to regulate my own schedule, which I absolutely love,” Elissa says.
A Rewarding Experience
Elissa is still in the early stages of her career as an educator, but she’s already created a number of lasting memories.
“The most rewarding part of teaching is the small things that help your students grow and can lead them to remember you for a long time,” Elissa says.
“For instance, I was helping first and second graders complete their work, and while everyone else may finish at a steady pace, one or two students may be discouraged and need more encouragement than others.
“Once I gave them extra attention, those same students came up to me and asked, ‘Ms. Mapp, are you coming back tomorrow?’ These instances just melt my heart and make the experience so worthwhile.’”
They’ve also validated Elissa’s decision to transition from a career in healthcare to education. She’ll continue to make a difference for students for many years to come.
“I plan on continuing to develop my skills in the classroom and earn my Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics with emphasis on TESOL,” Elissa says. “I’ll then teach English as a foreign language to adult learners abroad.”
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