Nilza Grassa '15 - Master of Education


Nilza Grassa '15 no longer feels that Sunday evening anxiousness knowing she has to get back to the daily grind in her cubicle on Monday morning.  That's because she now works as a third grade teacher - something she's passionate about.

 "The responsibility and work required in being a teacher can sometimes be daunting, but there is no reward quite like seeing the face of students excited about learning. That makes all of this work worth it," she says.

Nilza had previously worked at a finance company and longed for something more than just a job. One day she decided to visit her cousin's fourth grade class to satisfy her curiosity in pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher.

"That was the exact spark I needed.  It was my 'ah-ha' moment... I could feel the excitement for learning that the students had. I could picture myself standing in front of a class being positive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable."

She then started her new path by leaving the cubicle, working as a high school teaching assistant,  and enrolling in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program at Curry College.   Two years later, she served as the graduate studies orator at Curry's 2015 Commencement Ceremony, where she spoke on her accomplishments of completing her course requirements.

 "Above all, I know that I have learned so much and that I am a better teacher and person because of my experiences"  Later joking with the audience, she quipped: "If only this program came with a cleaning lady and a chef that would have made my life so much easier!"


Still, Nilza was drawn to the M.Ed. program because she could plan around other responsibilities.  She had taken a new job as a paraprofessional at an elementary school and she and her husband were expecting a child,  so she appreciated the set class schedule.

"I knew that I would be in class Thursday nights and one Saturday a month. I also knew that I would not have to look for and register for classes. All of that was built into the program."

She also cited the cohort format and support of fellow classmates and professors for helping her succeed.

"As a cohort we have all spent countless hours together laughing, complaining, eating chocolate, and sometimes eating much more than chocolate. Thirsty Thursdays for us were filled with coffee and teacher talk...  I credit the professors and my cohort for providing me with the tools and resources to become a successful teacher."

Related story: M.Ed. students present their capstone research


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