Becoming a Special Education Teacher - A Journey Across the World

By Communication and Community Relations
Employee News
February 21, 2023

In December, we asked employees in a blog what brought them to FCPS. One of the responses we received involved a teacher traveling across the world for her son and finding her passion. 

Catherine Lee had a successful career in marketing at a financial institution in Hong Kong, but knew her family needed to make a change in order to support her young son who has special needs. She and her husband searched across the U.S. for a school district with top-tier special education programs, landing on Fairfax County. Lee saw the amazing progress her son made in a few short years and was inspired to start working in special education herself. 

“Not only do I want to help the students but also the families,” Lee says. “When I first found out about my son’s needs, I was kind of lost. I feel like other parents may feel the same thing. I knew I could use what I learned and help other families.”

She became an instructional assistant at FCPS and began working toward her master’s degree in education at George Mason University. She’s now been teaching special education at FCPS for six years. She says switching careers wasn’t easy, but working with students is very rewarding. 

“The first year is the toughest," she says. "You have so much to learn. Teaching is a daily problem solving activity. But I enjoy the challenge and I love working with the students. I love seeing the students’ progress and the families are so appreciative.”

Learn more about how to become a teacher with FCPS.