Master of Arts in Teaching, 2011
School of Education
March 1, 2010
Undergraduate Path Has Blended Leadership Roles, Service to Community, and Academic Engagement
As a fourth year student at the University of California, Irvine, I am studying sociology and education. My passion for working with and understanding people has fueled my academic career and has contributed to my desire of becoming a teacher.
Minoring in education, I have learned more about the education community and been taught to manage my time and mobilize my skills towards the practical issues of society. During my second year, I challenged myself to take part in research under Dr. AnneMarie Conley in which I was guided in researching social efficacy, intrinsic self-efficacy, and motivation. This challenge solidified my desire to become more involved with understanding the learning process of students and what motivates them to learn.
Classes associated with the minor in education have also provided chances for me to be involved in volunteer opportunities such as THINK Together. By volunteering in Santa Ana Unified School District, I was able to use my knowledge of multicultural education (Ed 124) as well as child development (Ed 107). Through the many opportunities offered through the Department of Education I am further motivated to become an elementary educator.
As a result of my involvement in the Teachers of Tomorrow (TOT) club since my freshman year, I was elected president by club officers and other members. I am currently completing my third year of being Teachers of Tomorrow president. Being president of TOT has provided information and utilizes faculty knowledge of being a teacher, graduate student, teaching assistant, peer educator, and more. Our club membership grew six-fold in just two years. I believe that these members are not just numbers, but individuals who are excited about the field of education and are eagerly waiting to be the future teachers of tomorrow. UCI is blessed to have people this motivated to teach, and I am privileged to oversee their growth. Being TOT president has given me confidence in being an ambitious and well prepared teacher.
My involvement in Teachers of Tomorrow flourished into other opportunities of teaching throughout my undergraduate career. The summer following my first academic year, I became involved in the UCI Writing Project. Under guidance from Tracy Gov I was placed in classrooms from K through 8th grade. By interacting and working with a variety of age levels, I was able to see which grade I preferred, as well as the strengths of other grade levels I had not previously considered. The Writing Project was a wonderful way for me to be involved in the classroom with credentialed teachers overseeing my actions.
Another program that has helped me on my educational path is the Cal Teach program. As a former mathematics major I see great value in the CAL Teach program and consider it a wonderful way for individuals who have an interest in the physical sciences to become teachers. It was an honor to be asked for help with officer roles as Cal Teach started their club and such a wonderful thing to watch them grow. As both clubs continue to grow, I am looking forward to additional collaboration between Cal Teach and Teachers of Tomorrow.
I also have utilized my strengths as an educator in the Best Buddies program. By teaching others with special needs activities of daily living as well as students’ roles in a classroom (Peer Educator), I have been able to utilize the skills learned through my undergraduate minor in education.
My ambition goes further than just working during the week, and also includes teaching conferences on weekends. I have attended the Santa Monica Teachers Conference as well as the Santa Ana Road to Teaching Conference multiple times. Listening to speakers tell of their experience as teachers as well as methods that have improved their classrooms were some of the most rewarding lectures I have attended. Many of the methods that were touched upon I have used whenever volunteering in the classroom or while babysitting. Small suggestions in discipline, engagement, and “making learning fun” are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the useful methods I acquired at future teacher conferences. While volunteering in the classroom or while babysitting, I have been able to apply many of those methods successfully.
The faculty and staff at UCI and the many other programs I am involved in have invested enormous amounts of time with me and so many other students. This time and personal attention are something rare to find at such a large university. These individuals have had profound impact on my involvement here, and I could absolutely, positively not have been so prepared in the education field if it were not for their time, support, and dedication to students. Thank you for going above and beyond; my accomplishments could not have been where they are today without your help.
If you have any questions or would like to join Teachers of Tomorrow, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org