“Pathways to Teaching” with Trinity alumni & students, Wed Oct 26, 2011

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Join the Educational Studies Program for a discussion about different pathways to teaching on Wednesday October 26th, 2011,  from 6:30-8pm, in Terrace B and C, Mather Hall, at Trinity College. See comments below from alumni and students who plan to participate, and add your own. Also, check out the “Pathways to Teaching” advising page on the Educational Studies Program website.

Agenda: Each guest will be invited to speak for 3 minutes about his/her pathway into teaching and reflections on the experience:
6:30pm Welcome (by Professors Andrea Dyrness and Jack Dougherty)
6:40pm Laurie Gutmann Kahn ’03 (via Skype)
6:45pm Tracey Wilson ’77
6:50pm Heather Moore ’08 (via Skype)
6:55pm Beth McDonald ’87
7:00pm Jason Haber ’08 (via Skype)
7:05pm Maureen Kay Sigler ’99
7:10pm Jason Symmes ’09 (via Skype)
7:15pm Kate McEachern ’07
7:20pm Blake Fisher ’11 (via Skype)
7:25pm Jackie Kahan ’08 and Samantha Alcala ’11 (both posted comments, but cannot participate tonight)
7:35pm Begaeta Nukic ’11 (via Skype)
Closing and time for individual conversations

Trinity alumni — If you’ve taught in a preK-12 classroom, share your story about your pathway, and advice for those who wish to follow, in a three-minute talk in person OR via Skype at our event. Please RSVP by posting a comment below and tell us a bit about yourself (including your class year). Alumni who are attending in person will be invited to arrive at 6pm for a light meal.

Trinity students — If you’re curious about exploring different pathways to teaching with our alumni, please tell us more about your interests by posting a comment below (and include your class year).

Alumni who plan to participate in person or online:

Heather Moore '08
Laurie Gutmann Kahn '03
Jason Haber '08
Jason Symmes '09
Beth MacDonald '87
Kate McEachern '07
Tracey Wilson '77
Maureen Kay Sigler '99
Blake Fisher '11
Jackie Kahan '08
Begaeta Nukic '11
Samantha Alcala '11

Questions? Email Jack Dougherty, Associate Professor and Director of Educational Studies, or student event coordinator, Danyelle Doldoordian.

23 thoughts on ““Pathways to Teaching” with Trinity alumni & students, Wed Oct 26, 2011”

  1. Good morning all! I graduated from Trinity College in 2008 and I was a double major in Educational Studies and American Studies with a minor in Afro-American Studies. I am currently a 2nd year Ph.D. student in American Studies at Purdue University. I am a non-conventional teacher–having taught/mentored students at the university level and black male students at a local Lafayette high school. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today if it was not for the mentorship and guidance I received from Jack Dougherty in Ed. Studies at Trinity. I look forward to speaking with some of you (over Skype) in the next few days!

  2. Greetings, Trinity staff, students, and alumni! My name is Laurie Gutmann Kahn and I am a graduate of Trinity College class of 2003. After graduating with a major in educational studies and sociology, I taught special education in a self-contained classroom with the New York Teaching Fellows, an alternate route to certification program. I adored being in the classroom and was excited and challenged daily. I am currently a third year doctoral student at the University of Oregon in special education. I am the recipient of a leadership grant from the US Department of Education that funds my research and studies here in Eugene, Oregon. I am still involved in classrooms doing consulting, curriculum development, and teacher education supervision and training. I am looking forward to speaking with all of you about my experiences and how working with Jack and others at Trinity has given me a substantial practical and theoretical foundation for all that I have done and continue to pursue. See you soon!

  3. Hello Bantams! I obtained my major in American Studies at Trinity while taking as many ed studies classes as I could, simultaneously earning my teacher certification at the nearby St. Joseph College. After Trinity (08), I student taught in a suburb of Hartford for 4 months in a 5th grade english and social studies classroom. I then moved to the New York City area and taught as an assistant teacher at a charter school and independent school (both in Manhattan) while I worked towards my Masters in Education at Bank Street College, graduating this summer. This fall, I started my first head teaching position, teaching 3rd grade at an independent school in Brooklyn. I’m very happy where I am now, and while all of the teaching classes I took helped tremendously, I would not be the same teacher I am today without the view of education that I developed through studying with Jack and the Ed Studies department at Trinity. I look forward to speaking with you, and hope I can answer any questions you may have.

  4. Hey everyone. I graduated from Trinity in 2009 where I was actually an economics major. After graduation, I worked as a National Teaching Fellow for a national non-profit called Citizen Schools. The national teaching fellowship was a two year program where I worked as an after school educator in South Boston. As part of the job, I had a morning partnership where I worked with the economic education department of Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Along with my responsibilities at the bank and the school, I was a part of a cohort of Teaching Fellows getting a masters degree from Lesley University. I graduated from Lesley and the National Teaching Fellow in May and I have now started teaching high school math in Methuen Public Schools in Methuen Ma.
    I am excited to be part of this conversation via skype.

  5. My name is Danyelle Doldoorian and I am planning to graduate from Trinity in 2014. Ever since I can remember I have been interested in teaching as a career. I would love to teach high school math in a public school and am interested in learning more about my options for obtaining a teaching certification and what it is like to teach in an inner-city school.

  6. Hello all! This sounds like an excellent meeting for all Trinity students interested in graduating from Trinity and moving on to become a teacher! I am a senior at Trinity right now and am in the process of finding graduate schools and/or other programs that will help me enter into the field of teaching. I would like to teach secondary special education in a high-needs urban school at some point in my career, but I am very willing to start smaller and learn and work my way up! I am very excited to participate in this meeting! Thanks to everyone coming and to Jack for setting this up!

    Ashley Ardinger (2012)

  7. Hello, I look forward to attending ‘Pathways to Teaching’ on October 26th. I graduated in 1987 with a major in American Studies. While at Trinity, I focused on American literature and history. My goal was law school, but after my year abroad I decided I wanted to teach. I then went on to CCSU to get certified to teach, ending up with a Master’s in Education quite by accident! I then began my teaching career in the West Hartford Public Schools, largely at the middle school level. I then spent a brief stint in the private sector as a performacne consultant. I re-entered public schools after a three year hiatus, running the educational program at the New Haven Juvenile Detention Center. I then moved on to teaching in the Meriden Public Schools at the middle level. I am now in the Hartford Public Schools, where I have been for 10 years. I began at the Hartford Magnet Middle School, just across the street from Trinity, and am now an instructional coach at Burr Elementary School, supporting teachers in grades 4-8. I am also currently pursuing my next degree with a view to moving in to educational administration.

  8. Hi
    My name is Candace Baker and I plan on graduating from Trinity in 2014 with an English major. I am interested in teaching in grades k-4 however, I am not sure of how I want to go about teaching after Trinity. I am looking forward to this discussion and cannot wait to hear from the Alumni.

  9. Hi
    I’m a sophomore and planning on double majoring in Math and Ed Studies; I would like to be a math teacher. I would appreciate advise on going in this path: advise about classes, jobs, internships, research, and study abroad. Thanks and I’m looking forward to this event!

  10. Hello all,
    My name is Blake Fisher and I am a proud member of the Trinity College Class of 2011 where I majored in History and ran cross-country and track. I am currently a 2011 Corps Member with Teach For America. I am teaching 7-8 grade social studies at a pre-k through 8th grade school in Durant, MS which is about as rural and southern a community as you can find. I look forward to sharing the perspective of being an alternative route, first year, and rural teacher via Skype.

  11. I graduated from Trinity with a double major in Psychology and Educational Studies. While earning my degree at Trinity I also obtained my teaching certification at Saint Joseph College. In the Fall of ’07 I student taught in a First Grade classroom at a magnet school in Hartford. After student teaching I took over a first grade classroom for a retiring a teacher. Since then, I have taught Kindergarten, First and Second grades and worked in 3 different schools. Currently, I’m teaching First Grade at Moylan School in Hartford.

  12. Hi,

    I am an exchange student from Hungary. My original major is American Studies, but recently became more interested in education. Although, I am only here for a year I am still very interested in hearing about the American experience of teaching and its different steps. I am also considering going in this direction in the future and hopefully some of the information will apply to me as well as a foreigner. I really look forward to this discussion!

  13. I am a 1977 graduate of Trinity with a major in Intercultural Studies. I know that doesn’t exist anymore, but my focus was African and African American Studies. When I graduated, I got my teaching certificate from Trinity by taking 4 Ed classes. I student taught at Quirk Middle School. I went on to get a Masters in History from Trinity in 1984, then a PhD in history from Brown in 1993. I taught two years of junior high Social Studies in West Hartford and then have been at Conard High for over 30 years. I love this profession and would like to share that on Wednesday night!

  14. Hello Trinity community,
    Upon graduation from Tinity in ’99 I joined Teach for America in Washington, DC where I taught 2nd and 3rd grade for three years. I then went on to Harvard’s Graduate School of Education to do my graduate work. After grad school I worked with The New Teacher Project and the NY City Teaching Fellows program developing a teacher education program for NYC Fellows who were teaching in the Bronx. After that I went back to teaching at a middle charter school in DC for another 3 years. In 2007 I moved to Providence and have worked as the Director of the History and Social Studies Master of Arts in Teaching program. I look forward to sharing my experiences, hearing from other alums and discussing teaching.

  15. I am a senior at Trinity and am interesting in going into elementary education and special education. At some point, I would like to teach in an inclusion classroom, but for next year, I am very interested in working for some type of education non-profit organization or doing a teaching fellowship. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to hear about the different options there are in the field of education!

  16. I am a senior at Trinity and a sociology major. As of now, I am interested in going into elementary education, but I’m not exactly sure how to get started. I look forward to learning more about the different pathways to teaching!

  17. Hello everyone! My name is Jackie Kahan and I graduated from Trinity in 2008 with a major in Educational Studies. After a year of teaching abroad English as a foreign language, I joined the NYC Teaching Fellows in summer 2010. After the seven-week pre-service training, I began working full-time as a special education teacher at a small-sized middle school in Manhattan. I am now in my second-year at the school and expect to complete the program this summer with a Master’s in education. Since my grad school class schedule prevents me from participating in this event, I have written this reflection about the NYC Teaching Fellow program.

    Position: SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) provider for English Language Arts grades 6-8. At my school, the SETSS model is push-in which means that I work in the general education classroom along with the ELA teacher and support the students with special needs. Officially, my role is to help the students with disabilities that receive extra support services as mandated on their IEPs (Individualized Educational Plans). Because I work in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, I am only in the classroom for part of the time.

    My first-year experience: Many people say that the first-year is the most difficult and my experience was no exception. To start, I think my position was especially challenging because I was responsible for supporting approximately thirty students in grades 6-8. A major reason why this was so difficult was due to my schedule. I only pushed-in for five or six periods per week for each grade, present for either the first or second half of class and on some days, I missed both periods. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to help students when you feel like you don’t have enough time to work with them directly. The past year has been a tremendous struggle figuring out which practices work best given the time constraints.

    Why NYC Teaching Fellows?
    I joined NYC Teaching Fellows because I was interested in finding a fast way into the classroom. I had already decided that I wanted to teach in NYC public schools and the Fellows program seemed to be the best option because it would allow me to teach while working towards a Master’s degree and state certification.

    Subject Area: Initially, I wasn’t sure what subject area I was interested in teaching. The year in which I applied, it turned out that they were only hiring for certain high-need areas: special education, science and math. I was accepted to train for special education because this was the only subject area I was qualified for based on my undergraduate credits. Based on my transcript, it was determined that I could work in grades 5-9 as the special educator in any content area (math, ELA, science, social studies, etc.)

    Benefits: You earn the same salary and receive the same benefits as a NYC public school teacher. Your Master’s degree in education is generously subsidized by the city. You become part of a large network of Fellows. According to the NYC Teaching Fellows website, “Today, more than 1 in 10 teachers working in New York City public schools started their teaching careers through the NYC Teaching Fellows program.” You are also eligible for an Americorps award worth $5,500, to pay off existing student loans or future educational expenses.

    Challenges: Regardless of your pathway to teaching, you can never be prepared enough for your first-year. However, having only participated in a seven-week pre-service training before I began my full-time position as a special educator, made me feel deeply unequipped and unfit to meet the challenges of the job. Lacking adequate preparation before entering the classroom significantly compounded my stress as a first-year teacher. I also felt like it was a huge disservice to my students and to my co-workers, who were extremely patient with me as I learned on the job.

    Although the Fellows program offered me a quick way into the classroom, in addition to many financial incentives, it was not without its costs. If I had an opportunity to make my decision again, I might not have enrolled in the NYC Teaching Fellows program and instead taken a more traditional route to teaching.

    If you’d like more information about NYCTF or teaching in NYC public schools, feel free to email me at jacqueline.kahan@gmail.com

  18. I am a senior at Trinity double majoring in educational studies and psychology. Once I graduate I want to teach for a non-profit in a low-income area, and I eventually want to be a social worker in an urban school system. I’m excited to learn about the different options I may have once I graduate.

  19. Hi everyone!!
    I just graduated this past May. While I was at Trinity, I considered taking classes over at St.Joseph’s College in order to receive my certification by my graduation date, but I opted out since it seemed to be a lot of work figuring out scheduling time and transportation. Shortly after graduation, I started attending UConn’s Neag School of Education in order to receive certification in secondary math education and master’s degree at the same time. The program is only a year long!
    Looking forward to sharing more about my experience at UConn and student teaching which I am doing now!

  20. Hello! I graduated this past May with a dual major in Educational Studies and Psychology. As I completed Educational Studies courses, I learned about the various career opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. The Educational Studies department helped me connect with the Hartford community to explore these opportunities as I observed a fifth grade dual-language classroom, assisted with an adult ESL class, and interviewed families for Jack’s Smart Choices website. They also helped me connect with current students and alumni to discuss their educational careers and current paths. I studied abroad in Denmark for one semester where I learned about their inclusive education policies for students with special needs, an experience which greatly influenced the topic for my senior project.

    I am currently a Teaching Fellow in an extended learning day program, Citizen Schools (http://www.citizenschools.org/). My team partners with a middle school in East Harlem in New York City to help students enhance their academic, college, career-readiness, and 21st century skills. In addition to my role as an extended learning day teacher, I am the Family Student Engagement Lead at our site. My main responsibilities include managing our family communication system, planning family events, and organizing trips within the community. I plan to return to school for my Master’s degree once I finalize which career I would like to pursue. Unfortunately, I cannot join the conversation via Skype tonight but please do not hesitate to contact me (Samantha.Alcala@gmail.com) with any questions, concerns, comments, anything. I am more than happy to speak with any of you!

  21. Hi Trinity education community,
    My name is Amy Laurenza, and I graduated from Trinity in 2005 with a degree in Educational Studies and Sociology. After graduating, I joined Teach for America and moved to New Orleans to be a part of the corps. Through Teach for America, I became highly qualified by passing the required Praxis tests, and for my certification I attended biweekly seminars in an alternative certification program during my first year of teaching. The alternative certification program was through the New Teacher Project that Teach for America is affiliated with. I am currently in my seventh year teaching, after teaching 9th grade English, 9th and 10th grade remedial reading, 7th and 8th grade ELA, and currently 5th grade ELA at three different charter schools in the city.
    I am currently the 5th grade team leader at Samuel J. Green Charter School, and I participating in a two year leadership development program called “Leading Educators” that fosters the mindsets and skills necessary to be a middle-level leader (department chair, grade-level chair, dean, etc.). This year I also started taking courses for my Master’s Degree in Educational Studies through a satellite program of the Univery of Binghamton .
    I would be happy to talk to anyone who has questions about my teaching experience or my experiences with the Teach for America program.

  22. I’m an Educational Studies major, with a minor in Urban Studies, in my Junior year. I have been an intern at the American School for the Deaf for the last three semesters and I plan on remaining there while being here at Trinity. My intentions is to immediately begin a Masters program in Deaf/Hard of Hearing certification post graduation, and I am planning to take classes at St. Joseph’s and U Hartford over the next semesters to jump start my Master’s program.

  23. I am double majoring in Educational Studies and Computer Science. I am currently a junior at Trinity (Expected graduation in 2013). I have a passion for teaching through technology. Last year I created an after-school program called “I’ll Write That App for You” which runs out of Trinfo.Cafe. I designed the curriculum for the program and I have recruited students from the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science (grades 9-12). I am currently teaching the the third session of the program.

    I am interested in learning more about alternative certification since I was turned down by the Saint Joseph’s teaching program because I am majoring in Computer Science, which is not a core subject. Since there is not a teaching certification in Computer Science I am interested in other ways to obtain certification that will allow me to teach Computer Science/Technology at the high school level.

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