It’s never too late to venture down a new life path. That’s something University of Houston-Victoria junior Tamara Carman has learned firsthand.
The grandmother of five recently re-entered higher education to earn her teaching degree.
“I guess I’m sort of a late bloomer,” she said with a chuckle.
Carman, an Odessa native, said she harbored dreams of becoming an educator ever since she was a young girl. Both of her parents were teachers, and she enjoyed being around children.
Although she began college in Odessa in the 1970s, she didn’t complete her degree. Last year, however, while working as a secretary for the Victoria Independent School District, she renewed that drive.
“I woke up one day and decided I wanted to go back to school,” she said. “I quit my job and came back in the spring of 2010. Now I’m a full-time student.”
It’s been an interesting experience so far, she said. Carman enjoys taking courses with people from all different walks of life. Her classmates run the gamut, from those in their teens to others who are older.
Carman, whose courses focus on instruction for fourth through eighth grades, said she thinks she has a lot to offer the world of education. Her life experiences give her a strong foundation, and her “out-of-the-box personality” will help get her lessons across to students.
“I’m one of those people who won’t have the students sitting at their desks all day doing worksheets,” she said. “I want people up, and learning and having fun.”
She already knows she has a knack for teaching. Carman taught herself a variety of computer skills and even developed her own websites.
Looking ahead, 55-year-old Carman looks forward to graduating and moving into a classroom of her own. She might also return to school later to become certified to teach at the high-school level.
The Mission Valley resident advised others considering a new profession to follow their dreams.
“Go for it,” she said. “I’m having the time of my life. I love what I’m doing.”
And as for her grandchildren? They are proud of her.
“They’re excited for me,” Carman said. “I’m excited, too.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler or call 361-570-4350.