Aubrey Mach is a teacher to special kids. But she would be the first to say she is learning just as much as she is teaching them.
That realization has become a pleasant surprise for the 2007 graduate of East Union High School who confesses that she did not have any idea what to do after reaching that milestone in her life.
“I definitely had no intentions of becoming a teacher,” she attests now.
But necessity became her proverbial foot-in-the-door into what would later become her passion in her professional life. As a neophyte college student at Delta, she needed a part-time job. As luck would have it, she landed a job at Manteca Unified – being a substitute paraprofessional aide. Her first assignment was in the Moderate/Severe Special Education class at Weston Ranch High School.
It didn’t take long for her to realize that she had found where her professional heart is – working with special students.
“I had no idea what to expect, but after the first week, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I fell in love with the students; they amazed me every day,” said Mach who lost her teacher’s heart at this Stockton campus in this Manteca Unified jurisdiction located in what was formerly a part of unincorporated French Camp.
She credits MUSD teacher Corinna Guerrero for encouraging her to pursue a professional close to her heart. Guerrero was the teacher Mach was assigned to work with as a paraprofessional at Weston Ranch.
“She really encouraged me to go into teaching Special Ed,” Mach said.
And that’s exactly what she did. She continued her studies at the California State University in Sacramento where she majored in Liberal Studies. After graduation, she enrolled at Teachers College of San Joaquin, an intern-teacher program that allows individuals like her to start teaching while, at the same time, earning their credentials by taking evening classes.
“I was lucky enough to be hired as an intern teacher at MUSD in 2012 and am now teaching in the same classroom” where she worked as an aide to Guerrero, Mach happily noted. Guerrero is now teaching at another school site in the district.
“I was lucky enough to take over her class. I absolutely love what I do. My students teach me just as much as I teach them. I see them overcome challenges every day and there is no better feeling than seeing their progress and achievements,” Mach said.
To contact Rose Albano Risso, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3536.