A woman who once worked as a janitor and school bus driver is sharing her inspiring story after kicking off her second year as an assistant principal.
Pam Talbert admits it hasn't been an easy road. In the 1990s, she cleaned schools and a nursing home before busing students in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
At the time, the hardworking mother of three also struggled with a reading disability.
"I only had a third grade reading level and the reason I knew was they did a diagnostic test," Talbert told "Good Morning America." " I knew I had a deficiency because [later], I couldn't help my children [do homework]. My strengths were math. I love math."
Talbert said she was shy in elementary school and didn't receive the services she needed to perfect her literacy skills.
As an adult, her children would tutor her in phonics, and she enrolled in remedial programs to get better.
"They're my inspiration because they know how hard it was for me," Talbert said of her daughter and two sons. "I'd sit at the table crying because I couldn't read the word 'bear.'"
While working as a bus driver, Talbert decided it was time to go to college. Her dream was to become an educator and help kids who were facing the same learning challenges she faced as a student.
"I got my bachelor's and master's degrees at Southern University and got my first teaching job in 2002," she said. "I started [teaching] fourth grade."
Talbert continued teaching until 2017. She's taught fourth, second and fifth grade. and tutored sixth and seventh graders.
Talbert was also a dean of students and recently began her second year as assistant principal at Istrouma Middle School in Baton Rouge.
"Looking back, I would've never dreamed to be here but I knew I had the drive," Talbert said. "I had to persevere. It was important that I went to school -- then kids wouldn't go through what I went through if I had leadership to give them the education [they needed]."
Talbert said it's her students and fellow staff members that make her happy to come to work each day.
"I love the way they're always willing to learn how to get better -- not just the students, the faculty," she said. "I have an expectations and they're doing what they can to make sure no child gets left behind."
Talbert hopes to open a school for adults and children with literacy issues. Together, she and her eldest son will soon go back to school to earn their PhDs, Talbert said.
"Whenever things get rough, tough, just persevere. Just maintain your focus on where your trying to go," she said. "Whatever you go through, it's not for you. In the end, your story is there to help others."