Hardworking Woman Earns A GED And Becomes A Teacher At The School Where She Was Once A Custodian

She decided to make her lifelong dream of becoming an educator come true!

teacher helping students @PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

Oftentimes the most inspiring stories can happen in the unlikeliest of places.

Isabel Navarro, a 35-year-old woman from Waco, Texas who had been cleaning classrooms at the local elementary school for several years never thought she'd have the opportunity to turn her aspirations into a reality. Still, one day, Navarro made the decision to embark on a challenging but rewarding journey that eventually paid off.


She worked as a custodian at an elementary school despite her dreams of wanting to be a teacher.

Since 2016, Navarro worked as a custodian for Spring Valley Elementary in Texas, where she diligently cleaned classrooms for the students, teachers, and administrators. While she enjoyed working in a school, her true passion wasn't cleaning, but rather a desire to be a teacher.

“When I was a child, I always wanted to be a teacher or a nurse,” Navarro told FOX19. “And I started working at 15 years old to help my parents at home and now I can finish my education and follow my dream.”

Navarro had grown up in Zacatecas, Mexico, but was unfortunately forced to drop out of high school as a teenager so that she could get a job and start providing for her family. After moving to the United States in 2009 once she had met her husband, Navarro first began working in housekeeping for some time before eventually securing a job at Woodway Elementary in 2013 as a custodian.


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She eventually ended up transferring from Woodway to Spring Valley, where she became the lead custodian for the elementary school. Navarro acknowledged that while she loved interacting with the children, all she wanted was an opportunity to make a real impact in the classroom as someone who could educate.

She decided to go back to school and earn her GED to become a teacher.

After realizing that she still had dreams of being a teacher, Navarro didn't think twice about choosing to go back to school and earn her GED despite the challenge since English wasn't her first language. Months and months of hard work eventually paid off, and in June 2023, Navarro received her GED in a special ceremony.


Not only that, but her last day working as a custodian in Spring Valley was in July 2023 because she would be officially starting her new role as a teaching aide for the upcoming school year.

"It’s been good — so, so good,” Navarro gushed. “Every day is something new to learn not just for the kids but also for me, too, and I’m very happy to come in this way and share with my teachers and principals. They’ve been supportive for all my journey in my life.”

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The principal of Spring Valley, Kappy Edwards, told FOX19 that being able to watch Navarro work hard and achieve her dreams of becoming a teacher, while also being a mother and working a full-time job was truly moving and heartening.


"I am immensely proud of Isabel’s determination and commitment to furthering her education, obtaining her GED, and transitioning into a paraprofessional role within Spring Valley,” Edwards told the news outlet.

“This achievement, especially while working full-time as our head custodian, and managing a family with three children, showcases her admirable dedication and serves as an inspiring example for others.”

Navarro's story and hardworking demeanor prove that it's never too late to chase after a dream.

No matter how insurmountable the obstacles may seem to get there, it's worth it. Her unwavering determination along with the support from her local community and peers made her journey that much more satisfying as she had people in her corner who believed in her goal of becoming an educator.

Navarro went from cleaning classrooms to teaching in them, reminding all of us that we can achieve the greatness we want for ourselves by believing in our potential, no matter how bleak some of the setbacks may seem.


Navarro isn't stopping her journey at all either, as she would eventually love to earn her teaching certificate and have a classroom of students of her own!

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.