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Career Paths in Education: Patty Norman

Patty Norman, Utah's Deputy Superintendent of Student Achievement, grew up in a life of poverty. She used that experience to grow and help others along the way. Nothing shocked her and she was comfortable with helping students in similar circumstances since she had experienced them herself. "What will you do with that experience that you had?" was the question she asked herself and her students.


Patty decided the best way to help others was to pursue a career in education. She started teaching at the age of 20 and loved working with students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds to help them find pathways. She wants us to give every child the opportunity to decide their outcomes. Look at the career graphic below to see what Patty did with her own life and deciding her outcomes.


With all of this experience, Patty has some advice to give to those pursuing a career in education. Check it out:

  • Go in being a learner. Ask questions. Your degree gives you a framework, not expertise. Be ready to keep learning and you will never be out of date.

  • Don't be afraid to try new things. Rock the boat, try it again, keep data, and use your strengths. Honor the craft of those before, and don't be afraid.

  • It's not about perfection because you will never have perfection. Sign up for anything and then concentrate on one area you want to improve on in a year.

Want to explore more options within education? Check out our other career path posts or contact an ambassador to explore the majors within the McKay School. Hope to hear from you soon!

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