Current job title and employer and briefly describe what it is you do: I am a middle school teacher at Williston Central School in Williston, VT. I work on a 5th-8th grade team called Swift House, teaching ELA, Social Studies, and Math.
Academic experience at Saint Michael's College help prepare you for your career: My experience with both the undergraduate and graduate education programs at Saint Michael’s were invaluable. One thing that stands out in my mind is the amount of opportunities I had in the classroom, where I was able to connect theory to practice. Our curriculum throughout the program was clearly informed by the most updated trends in education and there was always an underlying focus on equity and inclusion. ‘Teaching’ doesn’t happen without establishing trust and positive relationships with your students and that was clear in every course that I took both pre and post grad. I began my teaching career feeling confident and prepared. I was eager to apply the various techniques and tools to my own practice and I also felt ready to make mistakes and learn from them. I honestly can’t say enough about my experience and about the faculty. Their love and passion for this vocation was palpable in every class, all the while affirming my desire to become a classroom teacher.
Favorite memory or class from your time studying at St. Mike’s: This is a tough one as there are so many to choose from! One of the most powerful classes I took was Cognition and Inclusion with Mary Beth Doyle. Learning about the history of special education and inclusive education was both fascinating and eye opening. Learning about how far we still had to go as a system made me even more eager to get into the field of education and make a difference. This class forced its students to check their biases at the door and strip back any preconceived notions we had about cognitive or physical disabilities. In simplest terms we were reminded that, as educators, we work with other human beings and we do so with love and respect for all aspects of each human’s identity.
Other information you would like to share or advice for incoming or current students: Life is short and precious. Follow your heart in anything that you do and always remain true to yourself. Becoming a teacher has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s not easy and you will be faced with countless obstacles. You’ll make mistakes and fail at times and there will be times that you may feel like it’s too much. But through it all, you’ll know that you are a positive light in your students’ lives and knowing that you might be the reason that a student feels safe, or loved, outweighs any obstacle that you will face.