B.A. in Mathematics, 2010; Teacher Credential 2012
School of Education
September 1, 2010
“It brings pure joy to my heart when a student reaches that ‘ah-ha’ moment when math actually clicks.”
I am originally from Pacific Grove, California, where I graduated from high school in a class of 150 students. I wanted to go to UC Irvine because it was far enough away where my parents could not visit too often, but I could go home when needed.
I completed my undergraduate work here at UCI in Spring 2010, and immediately started the Internship Credential Program, also at UCI, to get a Single Subject Teacher Credential in Mathematics. My main reason for wanting to become a teacher is that I will be able to impact the life of at least one student on a daily basis. I have always wanted to teach math because students need to see that math is not as scary as they might think. It brings pure joy to my heart when a student reaches that “ah-ha” moment when math actually clicks.
During this past summer I worked with the Upward Bound Math Science Program in Compton, California, where I taught Algebra II and Pre-Calculus. On the first day of class, one of my students announced, “I hate math and I’m really bad at it!” Three weeks later, she got the highest score on one of the chapter tests. Then at the end of the six-week session she blurted out in front of the class, “Ms. Terry, I really like math now because you make it easy; before I didn’t like math at all.” This job with the Upward Bound Math Science Program was the perfect start to my teaching career because I was able to gain experience with developing a six-week curriculum based on the California State Standards and create lesson plans in a small classroom setting.
During my third year at UCI I became involved in the California Teach Science and Math Program (Cal Teach) where I gained over 200 hours of classroom experience in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Along with my classroom experiences, I found my small network of friends and family within the large population of UCI.
Two years ago, I was a co-founder of the Cal Teach Club on campus and served as Treasurer and then President. Our goal for starting this club on campus was to create a fun and friendly environment for students who are interested in teaching math and science to be able to network and build necessary relationships in order to succeed with their career paths. Today, the club membership has almost tripled, and members are collaborating with other student organizations to make the best experience possible for future math and science teachers.
Aa an undergraduate I also had the opportunity to participate in research with Assistant Professor Beth Van Es, where I transcribed PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers) Teaching Events. I was able to watch videos and read lesson plans and reflections of past student teachers and be able to see what works and what does not work in a classroom from a student teacher perspective.
The Internship Credential Program at UCI has been an awesome experience overall. It is an accelerated program where we were thrown into a classroom on the first day of Spring Quarter, and we began our student teaching within a couple of weeks.
Currently, I am an Intern Teacher at La Quinta High School in the Garden Grove Unified School District where I am being mentored by Kara Hikel (a former UCI Intern). I will receive my Preliminary Teaching Credential in January 2011.