Master of Arts in Teaching, 2014
School of Education
August 1, 2013
“I know that I am ready because of what I learned from my time in the UCI program.”
Last year, in June of 2012, before I had even considered applying to the UC Irvine Teaching Credential Program, I was four years out of college and working as a property manager in Los Angeles. I knew that I could continue my path forward as a property manager, but having already been in the industry for two years, I felt absolutely no fulfillment in my life.
In July 2012, one month later, I went on a medical missions trip with my church to Ocantae, Guatemala. Having no medical background, a small group of us within the mission team was tasked to teach Bible study to the kids while their parents were receiving medical treatment. By the end of the seven-day mission trip, I had worked with over 700 kids. As tired as I was from the entire process, I also felt a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I knew working with young students was something I could do for the rest of my life and be happy.
After I came back from my trip, I immediately began calling different universities to see what I would need to do to get into a credentialing program. I knew that I was applying late, so I was not expecting to be accepted into a program until the following year. However, when I called the School of Education at UCI, I spoke to Judi Conroy [Director of Student Affairs and Admissions], who told me that they would allow me to start the program right away. Judi, along with several other UCI administrative staff members, took me step-by-step through the entire process and made applying to the program a painless endeavor.
After being accepted into the program, I quickly received my student teaching assignment, and by the end of August 2012, I had started my classes and began student teaching. Initially, I was scared and had no idea what to expect. My first student teaching assignment was teaching Kindergarten at Ethan B. Allen Elementary School. Working with the kids that first week, I knew that I had chosen the right path for myself.
Throughout the year I went through 16 different classes that were each specifically geared towards training me how to teach. I understood before getting into the program that teaching was not easy, but I had no idea how much preparation, innovation, management, and even child psychology, is needed to properly instruct students. The UCI Credentialing Program provided me with all the skills I needed to get ready for the real world of teaching. They made sure to properly instruct us in utilizing effective methods of instruction, as well as implementing the new Common Core standards in Content Area Tasks and completing the required Teaching Event. The staff was always supportive, and the professors worked diligently to provide us with what we needed.
Less than a year later, I graduated from the program in June of 2013, and, like everyone else, I found myself scrambling to try to find a job. Through the hard work I put in and the instruction that I received during my credentialing program, I was able to make an impression on the district where I did my student teaching, and was offered a tull-time teaching position there. I know that I am ready because of what I learned from my time in the UCI program.