Teacher Credential 2013
School of Education
January 1, 2014
“In education I have found a community of like-minded learners and facilitators.”
Blaine Jones has begun a new career. For 12 years he worked as a Professional Hydrologist for various engineering firms, yet today he finds himself as a first-year teacher.
“It was a risky move. I put aside a successful career in the natural sciences to become a teacher. In education I have found a community of like-minded learners and facilitators that has helped me in my new career. UC Irvine was a vital part of that.”
Blaine earned a teacher credential in science from UCI in 2013. He was hired in April to begin to create a new charter high school in Santa Ana, California. The Academy Charter High School opened its doors to about 125 freshmen in August, and so far the school has been met with success.
It was pretty cool to have a say in building a school from the ground up. Because the Academy is a charter school, we had more freedom to build the school we wanted. We made some risky decisions, including going away from traditional textbooks, to no school bells, and to giving students a strong voice in the day-to-day operations of the school, but so far they have worked.
The Academy Charter High School was created by the Orangewood Children’s Foundation to serve foster, underserved, and other community students in Orange County with an education grounded in Project Based Learning. Students work in teams on long-term projects throughout the school year. All students have a laptop, and about 90% of Blaine’s science class is taught through on-line resources.
UCI prepared me well for my current position. When I was working as a hydrologist, I can remember thinking, “Why do I need to go back to school to learn how to be a teacher? I can do this now.” But I was wrong. There is so much to learn about facilitating in the classroom, and I wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for what I learned at UCI.