B.A. in Dance, 2005; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2007
School of Education
November 1, 2011
“The rich research-based instruction I received from the UC Irvine Department of Education has forever shaped me as an educator and as a learner.”
Growing up in a family of educators, I was convinced that I would break the mold and become a pediatrician or perhaps a physical therapist. I ignored the fact that my favorite game as a child was to play pretend school with my sometimes unwilling little sister. I began my educational journey at UC Irvine as a double major in biology and dance and decided early on that the world of biology and test tubes was not meant for me. I attained my Bachelor of Arts degree in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. While taking a “Teaching of Dance” class with Rebecca Slavin, I realized my passion for teaching was not merely a childhood pastime. I began volunteering for an afterschool tutoring company called THINK Together, joined the UCI Teachers of Tomorrow club, and continued to pursue a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Master of Arts in Teaching at UCI. The rich research-based instruction I received from the UC Irvine Department of Education has forever shaped me as an educator and as a learner.
After graduation, I began teaching a first, second, and third grade Newcomer ELD class at College Park Elementary in Irvine. Throughout that first challenging year of teaching beginning language learners in a three-grade combination class, participating in BTSA, and receiving Early Intervention Reading Model training, I relied heavily on the instruction I received in the credential program for support. Currently in my fifth year of teaching, I have continued to use these invaluable skills to improve upon my practice.
A unique group, my class this year is comprised of students representing five different countries, cultures, and languages who are new to the country and speak little to no English. My job is to develop my students’ English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills sufficiently for them to function in a mainstream classroom; it is a tall order with today’s increasingly difficult literacy standards. While teaching the English language and American culture, I stress the importance of the student’s native language and culture. Although my students are currently performing “below grade level” linguistically, I remind them of the immense advantage they will have being bilingual in an increasingly global job market. The diversity of my class and the unique experiences that the children share have in turn taught me a lot about myself and the world around me.
Constantly looking for new inspiration and ways to develop best practices, I continue to grow as a professional and interact with my colleagues. I am a fellow of the UCI Writing Project and a member of UCI Writing Project Two. Written language has an immense power to influence, inspire, and shape who we are as human beings; seeing the joy of discovering that power in the eyes of children is what makes my job so wonderful. In addition to the Writing Project, I currently am an Administrative Intern for Irvine Unified School District, the EL Coordinator for my school site, a member of the UCI Curricular Leadership Council, and a master teacher for the Paired Placement Student Teaching program at Cal State Fullerton. I have learned valuable lessons from these opportunities to work with fellow educators and administrators to continuously improve the educational experiences of students.
As I look forward in my career, I am constantly reminded of the past that has directed me along my educational journey. The UC Irvine Department of Education and the amazing people that work there have shaped my life as an educator and will always represent a sense of community and home. I am forever grateful for the wonderful preparation I received and the future that it has opened up for me!