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Amber Sladek’s Journey From Teacher to Instructional Designer

What were you doing before Instructional Design?

I was a high school teacher. I knew last year that I needed to make a change. I was exhausted, accumulating debt (so unlike me!), and knew that working for my district and in education was not sustainable long-term. I needed a better quality of life, growth opportunities in my career, and the ability to save for retirement, and most importantly, I needed to support myself and my two boys.

What made you decide to join Applied Instructional Design Academy (AIDA)? Did you have any hesitation about joining?

I considered a graduate program in ID, but I was finding that many people talked about how they walked away with theory but no portfolio or applicable experience in ID. I put my grad plans on hold. Soon after, I came across this page, and I thought it was too good to be true. So, again, I waited. In January of this year, I joined Jill’s Instructional Design Jumpstart workshop. I heard stories from teachers who joined AIDA, and I decided to take a leap of faith. I immediately knew I had made the right decision.

What was your experience like in Applied Instructional Design Academy?
  • What did I get out of this program?
  • Experience in learning programs and final products that are now in my portfolio
  • A ton of feedback from peers, mentors, and Jill herself
  • An incredible community of other teachers and people all over the world working toward the goal of becoming an ID
  • Volunteer opportunities for experience
  • Resume, job search, LinkedIn, and interview support
  • A strong portfolio
  • A new career!

What are you doing now?

I am now a Training Specialist, so I am actually the owner of the entire training process for my company’s software training needs. Do I have a background in teaching or working with software applications? NO! I was an English teacher. My experience came from sharing tech with my grade level team, and a curiosity and love for learning various software apps. 

How has your life changed?
  • Huge increase in salary
  • Annual bonus
  • 401k with company match
  • Pension
  • Health/gym reimbursement
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • No taking home work
  • Slooooow pace
  • Full one hour lunches with no interruptions
  • Endless opportunities to grow and move around in the industry
  • Other companies calling me up trying to offer me jobs
  • Time during the day to go for walks outside, go to my office’s on-site gym, and/or grab a coffee from the on-site Starbucks
  • So much more time with my kids
  • I feel appreciated and supported 

This program is an investment that pays for itself. Jill WILL prepare you for a career in ID!

She already knows this, but again, thank you Jill Davidian for changing my life.

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