From janitor to head teacher: how a Ukrainian realized his American dream
From the janitor to the deputy director of the school, this is exactly the way Ukrainian Taras Petrishin went to his American dream. In 16 years, he moved with his parents to the USA.
When he went to graduate to earn a living, he got a job as a janitor at an elementary school in New Jersey. Having received a diploma of education, he became a teacher in this school, and then - the head teacher. Journalists "Voices of America" visited the school where he works and learned the secrets of rapid career growth.
Schoolchildren call him "Mr. Pi"
“He is cheerful, he gives high-five, he never screams,” says one of the students who also emigrated from Ukraine and adds that you can speak with “Mr. Pi” not only in English, but also in Ukrainian.
Another student says that it was the head teacher who encouraged him to study better.
“Last year, I had a bad day, he talked to me, told his story how he worked hard and it helped me. I well remembered our conversation and decided to start studying better, ”said 10-year-old Omar.
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Taras immigrated to the USA in the 1990's. Life abroad was hard - he worked at a construction site, in a restaurant, in a store, later went to college and got a job as a cleaner at a local school.
“Cleaning the school was also good - they paid money. The schedule also coincided - in the morning I studied from 08: 00 to 13: 00, and I worked from 14: 00 to 23: 00 approximately, ”says Taras.
For 6 years he worked as a cleaner.
“20 rooms and a toilet on each floor. You need to sweep, wipe everything, wash the toilets, if the doors are dirty, wipe them too. Everything should shine. If it is winter, then you also need to wash the floors, not just sweep. They carried boxes of paper on the 3 floor, each 25 kg, picked up 2-3 and carried it. Yes, hard. But a person adapts to everything, ”the head teacher recalls.
Taras never hid his ambitions: “I did not want to get out of school all my life. I wanted to be a teacher. ”
Once Tarasa noticed the director of training programs Jenin Kuselevich.
“Sometimes in the evenings, when he cleaned in my office, we talked about his education, about how he sees his teaching career. I’m glad that I was the person who informed him that a workplace had been opened in our school district that was urgently sought for a person, ”says Jenin Kuselevich.
Taras then completed his studies, so he immediately submitted documents and got the job of a teacher of the 5 class. He did not stop learning from this, he took part in all the training programs offered by the department of education.
“A strong professional ethics and a great desire to learn can motivate everyone, if you really put work in the first place, are not afraid to try something new, expand your horizons, then you can achieve success,” Kiselevich says.
Taras says that in order to achieve your goal, the main thing is not to give up.
“People come and say:“ They laugh at me because I am an immigrant ”,“ They laugh at me because I don’t speak English. ” I can’t say that they laughed at me, I can’t say that the children laughed at me. They said: “Oh, you cleaned”, yes, I cleaned, but now I'm here, this is an example, learn to never clean, ”Taras says.
When the head teacher opened a vacancy in elementary school, Taras decided to try his hand. He was taken for a year of internship with the salary of an ordinary teacher.
“We have 385 schoolchildren and 105 people of school staff - this is a lot of people. Everyone has their own needs. He should always come when he needs to support them. Every day, when you come to work, you need to leave your problems at home, ”says school principal Jason Gebedank.
Taras perceives his work as a mission: “I try every day so that children grow up - in behavior, in science, in everything. I want them to love going to school. I also try to make teachers grow. ”
The story of Taras Pertishin is an example of the American dream, as Taras’s colleagues believe.
“This is actually an American story about what we believe in. If you work hard, you will be rewarded. And this is just the case of Mr. Petrishin, ”says the teacher at the school.
Taras himself advises immigrants to choose a goal and go to it.
“Learn a language, get an education, set a goal and work towards its realization. I know this is hard, but in this country there are many opportunities, you just have to use them. ”
Petrishin’s plans are to become the director of the school, further - even more. He believes that he will achieve his goal, the main thing is to be faithful to his life principles - hard work, be fair and love children.
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