“Two years ago I was a Silicon Valley veteran of nearly 20 years,” writes Penny Mudd in a guest blog on The Gate, the online home of the San Francisco Chronicle. She dreamed of the day when she could “make a direct contribution to society. Maybe be a teacher. Gone would be the 60-plus hour workweeks. No more massaging boy wonders’ unchecked egos. Hello, summers off and dinner at home at a reasonable hour.”
But she was “kicked to the curb” by the startup where she’d worked for eight years in late 2007. And on Christmas Eve in 2008 she had a “second Dickensian moment” when she opened a package that informed her that “the CEO and board had engineered the disbursement of very paltry sums to the long-time employees, while they loaded up the stockings – to the tune of seven figures – for a relatively new management team.”
On top of that came “the (near) coup de grace: The Recession.” But Mudd wasn’t down for the count. She took her daydreams to heart and started on the path to an encore career as a teacher at age 50 by participating in the EnCorps Boot Camp for prospective teachers through the EnCorps Teachers Program, which is working to increase the number of math and science teachers in California schools.
“These days I wake up at 6 a.m. to study before I got to an 8 a.m. math class at the community college right down the street from my house,” she writes. She works as a teacher’s aide and volunteers at the Monterey Aquarium, “an activity that got me thinking about teaching to begin with.”
Read Penny Mudd’s profile
Read Penny’s guest blog on The Gate
Learn more about EnCorps Teachers and other certification programs