Master of Arts in Teaching, 2012
School of Education
October 1, 2012
“I am extremely thankful for the preparation UC Irvine has provided.”
If someone asked me ten years ago where I envisioned myself today, I would have never imagined I would be fortunate enough to be in the position I am now.
I am originally from San Diego, California and graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I joined the National Service Organization, AmeriCorps and spent ten-months serving communities across the southeast region of the United States. The majority of my service included assisting communities with unmet needs or disaster relief services.
The most memorable experience I had in AmeriCorps occurred while assisting students in a 7th grade math class in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At this school, a large population of students was displaced residents from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Undoubtedly, these students had other things on their minds besides math. However, after interacting with the students and learning about their interests and backgrounds, I was able to foster dialogue in the classroom and divert their attention to math. It was the interactions I had with these students that would later shape my professional journey to become a teacher.
Once my term of service with AmeriCorps was complete, I was recruited to a financial firm where I worked in the industry for five years. Each year in the corporate world I searched for meaningful experiences like the ones I had in the classroom of Baton Rouge, but they could not be found. I thought maybe each promotion I received would bring meaning, but it did not. I finally realized I had been searching in the wrong location. Soon after, I resigned from my lucrative financial position and enrolled to become a math teacher through the Master of Arts/Teacher Credential (MAT) program at UC Irvine.
I still remember the excitement I had on my first day of MAT classes last summer when I took Virgina Panish’s Ed 201: Teachers’ Lives and the Policy Environment of Teaching. At that point I had no idea how demanding, yet rewarding the program at UC Irvine would be. Each of the classes, professors, advisors, and mentor teachers was there to support me and help navigate me and my classmates toward becoming effective teachers.
I am extremely thankful for the preparation UC Irvine has provided and for the opportunity to teaching Algebra 2 and Trigonometry at Orange County School of the Arts.