B.A. in Psychology & Social Behavior and Criminology, Law, & Society, 2008; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2010
School of Education
January 1, 2015
“The experiences and classes I have had at the UCI School of Education have given me the necessary foundation to enter the field of education and thrive.”
I believe in family, friendship, and working together, whether with fellow students studying for finals or teachers collaborating together to plan the best lessons for elementary students. I am blessed to be working in the field in education as a kindergarten teacher. Everyday I make a positive difference in people’s lives and I am never bored working with my students.
I attended UC Irvine from 2004 to 2008 as an undergraduate student majoring in Psychological & Social Behavior and Criminology, Law, & Society. I always knew I wanted to work in public service, but was not sure what field was the best fit for me. Once I graduated, I worked as a substitute teacher for a year. On my second day, I was called to teach a kindergarten class as a long-term substitute. From then on I fell in love with the field of education.
After researching education programs, UC Irvine’s School of Education was an obvious choice for graduate school. As I began my master’s courses and multiple subject credential courses, I knew the UCI program was the right choice. UCI’s MAT/Credential program exemplified two important concepts that are most useful for me as an educator today: high expectations of all students and an educational experience that is engaging and interactive.
My social studies and reading professor and bilingual coordinator Susan Guilfoyle was a prime example of high expectations for all students. She taught with such confidence that was projected towards all the credential students. Susan went into detail when explaining methods of reading concepts and how to differentiate for students at different levels. As a bilingual coordinator she encouraged all bilingual students to pass the necessary tests for obtaining a bilingual credential, and kept checking to see who had completed the necessary requirements
My physical education instructor, Jeff Johnston, was my model for how to make education engaging for all students. In his lectures, he would not only tell the credential students how to teach physical education, but also have all the students actively participate in the lessons. As participants, the credential students were able to experience first-hand how fun and engaging physical education can be. As I have learned in my teaching experience, if the lessons are engaging the students are more likely to learn and retain the knowledge.
The experiences and classes I have had at the UCI School of Education have given me the necessary foundation to enter the field of education and thrive. I learned about holding high expectations for all students, making lessons fun and engaging, and respecting all people in my field. As a professional educator I can look back and reflect positively on my experience in the School of Education because I was around professors and staff that not only held us to high standards, but also supported us as a good family member would. I grew in my knowledge of the educational field, was challenged academically, and most importantly supported to go on and be successful.
Now I am in my fifth year as a Kindergarten teacher in the Monterey County region (Alisal Union School District in Salinas, California). I have taught structured English immersion programs and am currently teaching a bilingual transference program. I am also in my second year as a basketball coach for the elementary intramural league in my district. Last year a 3rd grade teacher and I coached the 3rd/4th grade coed team to a 6-1 win/loss record season. I am currently coaching the 5th grade boys this year, and we are working towards building on the success of last year and building more intricate plays.
I am thankful for my experience as a multiple subject student at UCI. I use the lessons learned to teach my students and improve in the field of education every academic year.