Teacher with students in garden
Honor the Teacher. Honor the Journey.
Teachers walk many different paths on their way to the classroom. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we thank teachers like Ta-Tanisha Jefferson for making the journey.
Teachers walk many different paths on their way to the classroom. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we thank teachers like Ta-Tanisha Jefferson for making the journey.

Meet Ta-Tanisha Jefferson

School felt like a blur for Ta-Tanisha Jefferson. Living through daily challenges, she remembers going to school so she could have breakfast, a lunch and a toilet that flushed. With perseverance, encouragement from her mom and a transformative college experience at Langston University, she now helps her students navigate their own life journeys. 

Read on to find out how she did it. Plus, you'll get advice for how to navigate your own path to teaching—and the tools that will help along the way.

Ta-Tanisha and two students
Ta-Tanisha and two students

Honoring Ta-Tanisha

Gifted and Talented teacher, Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet in Richardson, Texas

“Financial aid was challenging. I was the first in my home to go to college, so I wasn't really sure what financial aid was available. I took out several high interest loans to fund my schooling, and spent the first five to eight years paying them back."

"I would have loved to have a resource available to help figure out financial aid.”

We hear you! If you're looking for a career with purpose, check out our free coaching for future teachers. Just call to ask any question, get certification advice, access financial aid opportunities and more.

Ta-Tanisha in front of an inspiring bulletin board

From "Sticking-it-Out" to Thriving

Elementary school was hard for Ta-Tanisha, and middle school was even harder. She was one of several students bussed to a school outside her neighborhood as a part of Tulsa’s desegregation efforts.

“People did not look like me or talk like me, and they did not understand me. It was hard. I really hated school."

But she stuck it out for her mom. "I went to school because my mom expected me to, and she had enough going on.” In fact, it was her mother who pushed her to apply to Langston University, a historically black university, and an experience Ta-Tanisha describes as life-saving.

Ta-Tanisha in front of an inspiring bulletin board

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