My whole life, I’ve been an enthusiastic learner. For much of my life, however, I was a reluctant student. Throughout middle and high school, in the Wissahickon School District, my grades were incredibly average, and I usually put in just enough effort to get by. I had not yet developed the drive to push myself academically. My main focus was spending time with friends and family, or simply relaxing once I got home. One thing I know I loved was coaching basketball, having the chance to interact with and positively impact the players. In high school, I toyed with the idea of teaching, being able to coach, essentially, for a living. It was an exciting thought, but it was still just a vague, far off idea that I pushed to the side almost completely through college.
It was a couple years into my time at Ursinus College when I truly came into my own academically. I was able to synthesize my curiosity, my passion for learning, with my studies, and use this to become an engaged, active student. I double majored in English and American Studies, discovering new interests in the humanities. Most importantly, however, Ursinus helped me learn about myself and set me on a lifelong course of self-discovery and reflection. I loved my four years there, and although I felt ready to leave, I wasn’t sure what my next step would be.
After a year of work, and internships, and some classes at Montgomery County Community College, I used the self-reflection I’d learned in college to think about what I really wanted. What I knew was that I wanted to be with people, to be able to continually learn and grow, and ultimately have a positive impact on my community. As I thought about potential career paths, I reflected on my amazing experiences in my English classes at Ursinus, when I really came into my own. I thought about my favorite teachers from my own time in middle school and high school, who got me engaged at a time when I was interested in very little in the school setting. I thought back to coaching, when I felt fulfilled by the opportunity to push my players and play a part in their growth. With this in mind, I decided to attend Villanova University for their one-year accelerated Master’s in Education plus Teaching Certification Program.
During my time at Villanova, I’ve had the opportunity to meet an amazing group of professors and students who have helped me develop my passion for teaching and given me the skills I need to pursue a career in education. In March, I returned to Wissahickon High School, this time as a student teacher. So far, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and each day (despite the stress and sleep-deprivation) I’m reminded why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. I’m not sure where my journey into education will take me next, but I’m excited to find out. I’m also excited to share my experiences with all of you, and I hope you will share your experiences and insights with me too.