Lisa's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Full Circle

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

LISA NIELSEN

Director of Digital Literacy and Citizenship
New York Department of Education

“People told me I would finish college and everything would be so clear. I did all the things I was supposed to do, but what they promised wasn't there. It occurred to me that I should work in education so more people wouldn't graduate college without knowing what they care about.”

INTERESTS:

Education Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Education Transitions Goals Societal Pressures Passion Beliefs & Faith Community Courage Experience Family Exploration Success

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

TAGS:

big picture, blog, bored, education, Entertainment, graduation, heartbreak, high school, infantilizing youth, innovation, interest, jobs, major, passion, public relations, public school system, schools, talent, teacher, writer

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Always felt bored in school and never really knew what she wanted to do with her life.
  • Thought that if she didn't stir the pot and stayed at the top of her class, there'd be a huge payoff on graduation day.
  • Got through college and realized she'd never developed any passions or interests, still had no idea of what she wanted to do.
  • She took a job in public relations; believed that you took a job to earn a living and the "good" part of your life happened on the weekends.
  • After five years, she started to rethink her path; realized if she went into education, she could prevent students from making her mistakes.
  • Believes one huge mistake that educators make is in telling kids they're too young to know what their passions are.
  • Says educators can prepare students for fulfilling careers by fostering passions and talents early on, rather than just focusing on coursework.
  • Her passion for her career has stayed consistent-most people think she's a new teacher because she's so optimistic about the future of education.

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