B.A. in English, 2011; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2012
School of Education
July 1, 2011
“Being an education minor opened my eyes to the complex layers of the teaching profession.”
Teaching has always been a dream of mine since the fourth grade. As I watched my teachers write on the board and read stories aloud, I’ve always wondered and fantasized what it would be like to be on the other side. Teaching seemed fun and I wanted to be in a profession that would combine both the fun factor as well as my passion to help others.
Since my sophomore year at UCI, I have been involved with the Teachers of Tomorrow Club (TOT). Through TOT, I have met many other students who are passionate about teaching and have made great friendships. I’ve also gained invaluable knowledge from attending the annual Santa Ana Road to Teaching Conferences in which highly-acclaimed and experienced teachers share their unique teaching strategies and inspirational stories. Moreover, I’ve also learned about the different resources and opportunities the Department of Education has to offer. Through TOT, I was introduced to the education minor, Peer Assistant program, Certificate in After School Education (CASE) program, and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program – all of which have had an influence on my life.
Being an education minor opened my eyes to the complex layers of the teaching profession. I used to think that all it took to be a good teacher was to teach well, but it is so much more. Not only were teachers expected to teach well, but in order to do that, a teacher needed core knowledge, such as child development (Education 107), cognition and learning (Education 173) and more.
As an elective course for the education minor, I was introduced to after-school learning (Education 160). This course made me realize that there is so much more to education than just what happens in the classroom. The rich environment in after-school activities and programs have a deep influence on what takes place in the school day as well as a deep impact on a student’s personal life. Fascinated with after-school learning, I decided to become a Peer Assistant for Professor Mahoney in his next Education 160 course. Even though I had taken the same course the previous quarter, learning the material the second time around and having to help teach it deepened my knowledge; moreover, I was surprised to pick up new things from the material that I hadn’t noticed when I first took the course the first time.
As a result of my interest in after-school programs, I decided to pursue the Certificate in After-School Education (CASE). I became a volunteer at KidWorks – a non-profit after-school program serving low-income families in Santa Ana. There, I was expected to not only tutor students, but also was encouraged to build relationships – something that I’ve never really thought about before. The emphasis on building relationships made my experience with KidWorks so much more rewarding. My experience and investment in the students at KidWorks increased my passion for teaching and serving those in need.
Through the wealth of resources offered by the Department of Education, including the dedicated and supportive faculty and staff, I feel that I am well-prepared on my path to becoming a teacher. As a recent Scholastic Merit graduate with a B.A in English, I am so excited to begin the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program that will shape me into a prepared and knowledgeable elementary teacher. Currently, I am taking summer courses in the MAT program. When I am not studying, I enjoy volunteering as a Girl Scout Assistant Troop Leader leading 4th-6th grade girls in fun enrichment activities and community projects.