Falling Into Gratitude (How My Passion for Creativity Changed My Life)
Evan jacobs - Behavior Technician at Autism Behavior Services, Inc.
When I was in 4th grade my teacher told my parents that I was always “so quiet” at school. This came as a surprise to them because I was something of a loudmouth at home. The reality was that for about K-8, I was extremely nervous about going to school. I had seen a lot of 80s movies about bullies and I was certain that would happen to me. And it did here and there. Ultimately, that left a mark on me that, thankfully, dissipated by about the middle of high school. Mostly.
As I got older and entered the working world, the idea of being in education never entered my mind. I was into writing and filmmaking, and I only wanted jobs that allowed me flexibility to serve those masters. However, I always looked back on my time in K-12 with the reverence that comes from getting older, and not truly appreciating special things when they are happening. I thought of all the great memories I had made with my friends and people in my neighborhood. At the core of all of this were educators that cared about me.
As the years passed and life presented the changes it often does (I moved a little, switched jobs, worked full time as a writer, and my mom passed away), I started to think more and more about education. More than anything I wanted to help provide a safe place for students that I had in school. As a movie person, I wanted to be that character audiences love that is there to make a young person’s life special. More than anything, I wanted to give students something to look back on the way that the educators in my life had given that to me. At the end of the day, I wanted students to feel respected, heard, and believed in.
In 2021, being named a Classified Employee of the year through the School District was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. For me, the most important thing is being in an environment where I feel like (to paraphrase Reverend Run from RUN DMC) I am “in my calling.” Being recognized in this way was as unexpected as being recognized by the County Department of Education in 2022 as one of their Classified Employees of the Year. Even as I type these words, I am still amazed, humbled, but most of all grateful that I am allowed to come into student lives and be there for them everyday.