Briefly describe your daily job duties.
I teach 7th Grade English Language Arts.
As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
As a teacher who has to read aloud to her class, I find that to be the most challenging. I also find gaining respect in the workplace to be challenging. I often feel that adult coworkers are more likely to see my stutter has a hindrance to my teaching ability than my students.
Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it and how do you currently disclose your stuttering to unsuspecting co-workers, clients and or customers?
Yes, I did. I said I had a stutter, but it didn’t have me. I was often told that I was never going to be a teacher due to my stutter. Today, with each day one of school, I tell my students that I stutter. (But we all know each of us has something. It’s just my something is more noticeable.)
Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
I listen more. I take time to hear people out. Co-workers come to me when they have a student who stutters, and that makes me feel that I am contributing in ways that others cannot.
What is your proudest moment at your current company?
I have a student who stutters this year. And, he told me that I was the only teacher he had who has believed in him and told him that he could be and do anything in life he wanted.
What are your long-term career aspirations?
I plan to teach middle school for the rest of my career!
What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
Do not let stuttering control you. You have a stutter, but it doesn’t have you. You are going to write the narrative for your workplace experience so be positive, but open with people. Realize that your stutter makes you who you are, and that you have just as much, and more to offer than someone who does not stutter.