This educator spotlight on Zivon Sewell, a CCSD paraprofessional pursuing her dream of becoming a licensed teacher through our Teacher Pathway program, is featured in “Along the Pathway”, our monthly Teacher Pathway newsletter. Each edition features updates regarding the Teacher Pathway program, participant and community partner spotlights, and programming goals our mentees are working towards that will support them in becoming dynamic educators in local classrooms. To receive the newsletter in your inbox each month, please email email@example.com.
Finding Joy in Teaching
Zivon Sewell is a Teacher Pathway mentee who has found her calling in teaching. She is dedicated to helping her students reach their full potential and be successful in life. Here is a glimpse into her journey as an educator.
Throughout her life, Zivon found herself in positions working with kids including working at daycare, the Safe Key program, tutoring, and babysitting. “I would help the students with not only their homework but often with personal issues too,” says Zivon. These encounters would bring her back to when she was facing similar challenges in her youth but lacked someone in her life to provide the support she was committed to providing the students she worked with. For Zivon, a career as a licensed educator presented an opportunity to ensure that she could continue to work with students in Southern Nevada in an impactful way.
With some encouragement from her friend Breanna Banks, a member of the Impact Team at Sandy Searles Miller Academy, Zivon became an in-classroom Support Professional with Clark County School District and officially started her journey to a classroom of her own.
“What we teach is not just for a grade but for a lifelong lesson and impression.”
Zivon believes that learning never stops and that educators play an essential role in the development of a student. Sandy Searles Miller Academy‘s mission statement of “Lifelong learners are empowered to take informed action to influence their personal growth, society, and the ever-changing world.” resonates with her deeply. This mission is in alignment with her personal growth mindset and has allowed her to persevere when faced with obstacles. When asked how she remains encouraged through challenging times, Zivon shared, “Things are happening for me, not to me. I’ve learned to ask myself “What can I learn from this situation?”
She believes that what educators teach is not just for a grade, but for a lifelong lesson and impression. Zivon believes that professional development, including mentoring and support from fellow educators, is essential for an educator’s growth. She has attended various training courses and received support from her mentor, Ajiah Daley.
Creating a Safe Haven
Zivon’s passion to educate and inspire extends to her willingness to encourage her peers who are on their own journey to becoming licensed educators. When asked what advice she had for fellow future educators, Zivon shared the importance of remembering that “children are sponges and absorb everything. Being an educator has its ups and downs, but it is always rewarding.” Additionally, she encourages educators to be a “safe haven” for their students while providing them with love, answering their questions, and always giving them the “why” behind any lesson.
Navigating the Pathway is a Team Effort
Zivon’s approach to balancing work, life, and school is to prioritize tasks based on their impact, urgency, and importance. She is grateful for the support she receives from her colleagues on campus, lead teacher, and administration, which allows her to make the most of her time during the day. “I want to say thank you to my Administration team for all the support they have given me on this journey and the push to become a licensed teacher,” says Zivon. Zivon credits her on-campus colleague Ms. Buzaki for showing her “how to be creative and fun all while providing the students what they need academically” and other colleagues for “showing me exactly what classroom management is and what being a strong educator looks like. ”
Zivon’s experience with Teacher Pathway has been great. She appreciates the dedication and diligence of the mentors and the support they provide. Her mentor, Ajiah Daley, has set in place a guideline on how she can get through everything with all the classes and requirements, which makes her feel at ease. “She is amazing! I’m so happy and grateful to have her.”
Becoming Who She Needed When She Was A Little Girl
Zivon’s favorite thing about teaching is seeing the growth and change in her students. She finds it rewarding to know that she has made a difference in their lives. “As a child, I faced situations similar to those of my students, but I didn’t have “me” growing up. Eventually, it dawned on me that I wanted to not only be a teacher, but someone who could educate students and help with not just academics, but with things that may happen in their life that could negatively impact their academics. I want to be someone who can help students reach their full potential. Ultimately, I needed to be who I needed when I was a little girl.”
Although Zivon has encountered barriers on her path to licensure, she remains motivated to stay the course by focusing on the positive impact she can make in her students’ lives.