- Clayton Ward had almost forgotten his dream in life until he became a school bus driver.
- Being able to bond with his student passengers, the desire inside him to pursue his dream in teaching sparked once again.
- So he enrolled at a school and recently he graduated and got his Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts.
Clayton Ward did try college for a while when he was growing up in Tennessee. But it was when he moved to Massachusetts and started driving a school bus that he was inspired to get back to school.
Every day he would drive teens to Framingham high school before the pandemic happened that closed down many schools and establishments.
“I really enjoy working with kids, especially the high school students, and during the bus routes, we would chat about their classes. As a history buff, I would share lessons that I learned in school and we talked a lot about academics,” Clayton said.
“After several of these discussions, some of the students would tell me they wanted me to be their teacher. I think they only said that because I was a different person than their regular teachers, educating them in a different way to pique their interest.”
However small that is, it started motivating Clayton to continue with the goal he had long before.
The talk he always had with the students sparked his interest in teaching children. So in May 2019, he enrolled at MassBay Community College to pursue a degree while still working full-time as a school bus driver.
He worked hard and focused to do his best in his classes until finally, all his perseverance paid off!
He finished every semester as a Dean’s Lister, became a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, and graduated with a grade point average of 4.0! He also earned the award of having the highest GPA in the Liberal Arts program and in the whole Humanities and Social Sciences division.
“It wasn’t always easy. I would drive my route in the morning and afternoon, take a class in between shifts, and take night classes and classes online to complete my degree requirements. I would think of those students and all the years I wanted to make this happen, and it helped me focus my energy.”
“Many years ago, I heard a quote from my former middle and high school band teacher, which helped me stay the course and get to where I am now. My teacher said, ‘Discipline is not doing what you are supposed to be doing when everyone is watching. Discipline is doing what you are supposed to be doing when nobody is watching.’”
With a lot of free time during the lockdowns, Clayton was able to complete his Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts and will pursue his bachelor degree in History, minor in Secondary Education at Framingham State University in this fall.
Truly, if you persevere, there is nothing you can’t do.
Source: Good News Network