B.A. in History, 2000; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2001
School of Education
July 1, 2009
“Teaching is a Passion, Not ‘Just a Job'”
Jackie Washington graduated in 2000 from UC Irvine earning her B.A. in History with a minor in English. She went on to earn both her Social Science Teaching Credential and Masters of Arts in Teaching from the UC Irvine Department of Education.
Like many college graduates, Jackie Washington was unsure of her career path and worried about life after college. Uncertain of her future, she began researching law schools and looked into ways to prepare for the LSAT. Knowing law was not her true calling, Jackie’s mom intuitively suggested applying for the Teaching Credential program. After all, from her first babysitting job in her teens, to her experience as a swim instructor for six years, and to her involvement at the on-campus Childhood Education Center, Jackie had always worked with children. In 2000, she was accepted to the Single Subject Credential Program through UC Irvine’s Department of Education.
During her time in the Credential program, Jackie discovered her enthusiasm for teaching and her love of inspiring students to exceed their expectations for learning. By the end of her year in the Credential program, Jackie was sure that teaching was her path. She was hired to teach 7th & 8th graders at TeWinkle Middle School and became a member of the first UC Irvine Masters of Arts in Teaching cohort.
Since earning her MAT and Teaching credential nine years ago, Jackie has remained a member of the staff at TeWinkle Middle School. She continues to teach 8th grade United States History and AVID, a college prep elective course. Being first in her family to attend college, Jackie has been given the chance to guide students, many who have no family history of post high school education, to prepare for and succeed at a four-year university. This opportunity to lead students on their path of success is what differentiates teaching as “a passion” and not “just a job”.
While at TeWinkle, Jackie has assumed many leadership roles on campus including GATE coordinator, AVID coordinator, and Social Science Lead Teacher. She has spent time coaching other AVID instructors at the Orange County Department of Education. Last fall, Jackie was recognized as one of Orange County’s Teacher- of-the-Year semi-finalists, an honor that comes maybe once in a lifetime.
Through the years, Jackie has kept a close connection with the University of California, Irvine. She has been fortunate enough to partner with exceptional UCI associations, including the Criminology Outreach Program and the Careers in Teaching House in Arroyo Vista. In Fall 2008, Jackie was honored to be able to collaborate with her former Credential Program professor, Judi Conroy. Jackie and Judi worked with undergraduate Rachel Holland to create a Careers in Teaching Pen Pal program. Paired with the Careers in Teaching Theme House, this program allowed future teaching candidates to mentor 8th grade students in Jackie’s AVID classroom. In their letters, the future teachers offered advice on High School course selections, academic planning and the advantages of a college education. The mentors even visited the AVID classroom, where they delivered exceptional lessons on resume building, communication practice, interview skills and college preparation. Since many of Jackie’s students will be first in their families to attend college, this partnership served as an invaluable opportunity for her students to aspire to achieving a higher level of education and all the possibilities that are derived from it.
Jackie is truly grateful for the education and experiences she has received at UC Irvine. Her time at the University, especially through the Department of Education, has prepared her for life both inside and outside of the classroom. Jackie plans to continue her professional partnerships with UCI with hopes of inspiring her students to pursue a four year college education.
When she is not in the classroom, Jackie keeps busy chasing her 1-year old son, Noah, around the house, spending time with her husband, Lance, and taking weekly trips to Dog Beach with their 90+ pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Scout.