B.S. in CalTeach Mathematics, Minor in Educational Studies, 2011
School of Education
March 1, 2011
“Teaching is what I am meant to do.”
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I knew college would change me. I knew it would be wonderful, horrible, fun, challenging, seemingly impossible at times, but I didn’t know how I would come out on the other side. I didn’t know that I would grow from a shy, academic-obsessed freshman into a strong and confident campus leader. I have learned to embrace who I am and trust that I will make good decisions, and I have learned how to deal with the consequences when I didn’t make good decisions, or at least whom to go to for help.
Now that I’m finishing up my time here at UC Irvine, fresh off of registering for my last quarter as an undergraduate, I’m taking time to look back. I’m looking at the things I have been through and how they have made me into who I am today. I look at the responsibilities and roles that I have taken on and how I have grown and become a part of this campus, and how it has become a part of me. And beginning my path to graduate school and a teaching credential I wonder about my students in the future, and the experiences they will have, and what kind of people they will be shaped into both as they enter and after they leave my classroom.
I wasn’t one of those people that have always wanted to be a teacher; I didn’t even want to be a math major in college. I wanted to study the stars and everything light-years away from this planet. But I came to be involved in the Cal Teach program my freshman year and stumbled upon a path that would forever change me. I enrolled in “Introduction to Science/Math Teaching” winter quarter of my first year, really just as a fun class with one of my roommates. She did not continue with the program and later stepped away from the Physical Sciences, but I was hooked. My second year came along, and I received an email from Danielle Moncure, the Peer Advisor at the time, and she wanted to start a student group to support those in the Cal Teach classes! I immediately got involved, and although I was terrified to walk into the first meeting alone, I volunteered to be Secretary and solidified myself as an integral member of this organization.
So much has changed since then: I have gone to Austin, Texas for a national conference the last two years to give my student perspective and to support other upcoming student groups throughout the nation. I was club Vice President for one year, then promoted to President after Amanda Terry graduated early. And this year I have continued in the role of president, watching the club grow into a strong and determined group of students. The CalTeach club has become a part of who I am, and I look forward to watching it grow and change the University campus long after I leave.
I have also had an amazing opportunity to serve as Housing Assistant for the Careers in Teaching House in Arroyo Vista. My 16 residents are amazing students, and I love to plan programs and spend time with them. I have learned more about myself and about time management than I ever imagined I would, and I will definitely be a better-prepared teacher because of it.
I recently learned that I was accepted into the Single Subject Credential Program here at UCI, and I look forward to the near future. I applied to the Math for America Fellowship: Los Angeles and San Diego, and I am hoping to hear back from them soon. I have spent time at Valley High School in Santa Ana this quarter, and it has further reassured me that teaching is what I am meant to do. I love being around kids and I have learned so much through my academic course work (education minor) and Cal Teach Fieldwork classes, that I am sure I will move on from UC Irvine to be a force to be reckoned with.