Custodian turned middle school teacher serves as reminder to follow your dreams

A former high school custodian tells FOX 26 he literally had a dream that he was in a classroom teaching, so he woke up and decided to go for it. 

"It's going to sound a little cliché, but shortly after becoming a custodian, I had a dream that I was teaching," said Stephen Hansell. 


Hansell attended Klein ISD schools growing up and eventually, he went on to serve in the Navy. 

When he returned as a veteran, he spent years trying out different occupations. In November 2020, he landed a job as a custodian at Klein Oak High School, but that career path would be short-lived. 

Hansell pursued his dream of becoming a teacher, and two years later, he was assigned his first classroom at Krimmel Middle School in Klein. The very city he grew up in, and he's set to start teaching 7th-grade social studies this fall.

"300 hours of training, course work, and 30 hours of in-class observations, then after that you have to take your state exams," Hansell explained.


With all the struggles teachers are facing nationwide, from low wages to the threat of school shootings; we asked Hansell if those issues ever discouraged him from pushing forward. 

"There's no way to not have these thoughts go through your head or whatever, but nothing will deter me. I'm gonna do what I can to protect these kids and that's all that matters,"

Hansell will officially be a certified teacher after he spends 180 days on the job, his first class starts on August 10.