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A Student of the ASD Nest Program Becomes a Teacher in the Same Program at UAM

Alex Blackstock
Mr. Ozeki

Mr. Ozeki is a teacher who is new to UAM this year, and there are things to share about how this experience has been for him, and a little bit of his past as well. 

Every year at school, there are new teachers coming in to help and continue the work done. One of these teachers that came in to join the UAM team this year is my advisor, Mr. Ozeki. Wanting to know more about his experience as a teacher, at UAM and outside of UAM, I asked him some questions regarding this. A teacher’s experience is always interesting and it is important to know about. 

“I was just about to finish my student teaching program under the New York City teaching collaborative and when I started looking for jobs, I made sure to specifically look for an ASD Nest school because I was a student under the ASD Nest program and I wanted to be a teacher in this program” Ozeki said. “So I made a list of ASD Nest schools that I was allowed to work at and this school emailed me just out of the blue on the job finder.”

Mr. Ozeki wanted to join  the ASD Nest program at UAM, finding it good to help autistic kids, as he is one himself. When he made a list, he was accepted into working at this school, despite not knowing anything about it. The ASD Nest program is a program based on inclusion of autistic students and non-autistic (neurotypical) students. Mr. Ozeki was a member of the program when he was younger and now that the program has expanded more, he is working as a member here at UAM. 

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“The students have also been awesome” Ozeki remarked, “They’re very diligent, hardworking and well, there are various degrees of hardworking, and I can tell they care and they’re really fun to be around and I love getting to know them, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow throughout the year, as we continue working together.”

Before becoming a teacher at UAM, Mr. Ozeki had done teaching prep jobs, but never a full-time one before this. “Yes. It is my first job as a full time teacher”, Ozeki said. “I’ve been a substitute paraprofessional  and a student teacher before this.”

Mr. Ozeki would like to try and be more prepared for when unexpected events happen when he is teaching.

“I also want to work on teaching on the edge of my seat or whatever the phrase is”. Ozeki explained “Usually, when I teach I like to plan everything out, but sometimes unexpected things happen and those are times when I’m like ‘I’m not sure what to do’ so I’d love to work on that’”. 

He continued by clarifying on how to become a teacher and his own personal educational journey, “So I’m going to college for a second time to get what’s called a Master’s degree. You need to have already gone to college to attempt the Master’s degree. The Master’s degree can relate to what you originally went to college for before or it can be completely different.” Ozeki mentioned. “In my case, I studied business and marketing for my undergrad, but I decided I want to be a teacher instead, so I’m doing education for my Master’s degree”.

Mr. Ozeki has had a long and difficult journey while looking to find a career, but he is now a teacher at UAM, and is enjoying his experience as a new member of the community this year.

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About the Contributor
Alex Blackstock
Alex is a sophomore at Urban Assembly School for Media Studies in Manhattan, New York. He is very devoted to his work and an intelligent person. Outside of school he can be found watching cartoons like The Powerpuff Girls. Alex is also autistic.
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  • M

    MTOct 30, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    This was a wonderful read! It is nice to know there are teachers at UAM who share similar experiences with the students they teach.