Pathways to Teaching with Trinity Alumni, Tues Oct 23rd, 2012

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Join us as we speak with recent Trinity alumni who followed different pathways to teaching on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 from 7-8pm in Seabury S205. Guests will appear in person and via web video conference to share their individual stories on how and why they became classroom teachers. Their personal advice expands upon the Pathways to Teaching web pages hosted by the Educational Studies Program. Scheduled to participate are Lis Pennington ’07, Katie (Brewer) Goodman ’07, Jackie Kahan ’08, Jesse Wanzer ’08, Courteney Coyne ’10, Samantha Alcala ’11, Begaeta Nukic ’11, Ashley Ardinger ’12, Candace Simpson ’12, Lenny Rutigliano ’14 (on his current experience with the St. Joseph consortial program), and others. Read their comments below for further background. If you’re a Trinity student who plans to attend, click here to sign up.

Jackie Kahan '08
Begaeta Nukic '11
Candace Simpson '12
Ashley Ardinger '12
Jesse Wanzer '08
Samantha Alcala '11
Lis Pennington '07
Lenny Rutigliano '14
Courteney Coyne '10

If you’re a Trinity alum with experience as a classroom teacher, please post a comment below about your experiences. If you plan to attend in person, arrive at 6:30pm if you’d like to join us for an informal meal before we begin. Or if you plan to join us on the web, register for a free Google+ account, and click on my Google+ profile to add me to your circles, then just before the event, log onto your Google+ page and look for an invitation from me to join our “hangout” video conference session.

Here’s the video feed from our discussion.

10 thoughts on “Pathways to Teaching with Trinity Alumni, Tues Oct 23rd, 2012”

  1. Hello, everyone!

    Coming here to Trinity, I knew that I wanted to be a high school English teacher. I knew that I wanted to pursue the “traditional” certification process of taking education classes through a state certification program as an undergrad. Once I got here, though, I wasn’t sure about how to go about that route, realizing Trinity itself does not have a certification program. Talking to Jack Dougherty, though, I realized I could join the Saint Joseph College (the now University of Saint Joseph) program through the Hartford consortium, and I am currently still in the program while pursuing my English Literature degree here at Trinity. I cannot praise the program enough, from the professors being knowledge, helpful, and attentive to the courses themselves providing current information and necessities needed for teaching in (for me) today’s high schools. There are a few difficulties, though, including planning your courses between Trinity and Saint Jo, since classes sometimes overlap, setting up your particular certification pathway early enough to finish within your four years at Trinity (if that is your choice), and especially getting from one school to the other (it helps if you have a car, tremendously!).

    I would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in getting certified the traditional way while being an undergrad, and also for those pursuing certification in graduate school (I have been in a number of graduate classes there due to scheduling conflicts and they are fantastic). Feel free to either speak to me at the event or to email me with questions or concerns!

    Looking forward to the event!

  2. Hello current Trinity students!
    Over the summer, I received my CT teaching certification! It is exciting to be recognized as a teacher. Upon graduating from Trinity in May of 2011, I enrolled at Neag School of Education at University of Connecticut. This is a master’s program for college graduates. The program is one year long: it includes attending school full-time over summer. So shortly after graduating from UConn (May 2012), I received my certification in the mail.
    Right now I am working as a substitute teacher — I will be moving out of state so permanent teaching position was not something that I could do now. However, substitute teaching, in addition to my student-teaching, is giving me teaching experience and opportunities to interact with students. Loving it so far!

  3. I majored in Educational Studies while at Trinity and graduated in 2008. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach, and I actually had plans to work at a bank after graduation. That plan fell through and I ended up working at an educational technology company as a human resources assistant. A couple of months later, I applied for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Colombia and was fortunate enough to be able to spend the nine months teaching English as a foreign language to students in Colombia. Before returning to the US, I applied to a few teaching programs, NYC Teaching Fellows and I-Start and ended up joining the NYC Teaching Fellows to train to become a middle school special education teacher. I am in my third year of teaching and I work at a small middle school on the Upper West Side. I teach the 7th grade and work in all subjects ELA, Math, Social Studies and Science. Looking forward to this event!

  4. Hello Friends!

    Greetings from Bedford- Stuyvesant!

    My name is Candace Simpson, and I graduated from Trinity this past May. My major was Educational Studies with a concentration in Youth Empowerment and Achievement in Urban Settings. I had no clue that I would eventually head towards teaching… I was actually running away from it!

    But the more we dove into coursework at Trinity, the more I realized that Teachers have this incredible power to either challenge or reinforce social norms. As a feminist, a lover of critical race theory, and someone who finds comfort in social justice theology, I asked myself ONE question “What better place for me, than the classroom?”. It’s also a great place for a big kid like myself.

    I am learning so much about myself and the world at Professional Prep Charter School. I love my school! It is very different from many other schools– ALL staff members live in Bed-Stuy, including me. We also teach so that our students, who are all Black and Latino/Latina, see themselves in their work. RADICALLY SIMPLE!

    I was matched with this school through the Urban Teaching Corps program, which is a new teacher-recruitment organization that seeks to support new teachers in a cohort model. As a Posse scholar at Trinity, I feel like I have a new little unit of support all over again. There are 12 Members of our cohort, so I have a really tight-knit support system. We also have a teaching coach who observes and gives really helpful feedback. I also have a coteacher who’s really supportive.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    Candace Simpson

  5. Hello Everyone!

    I graduated in May 2011 with a dual major in Educational Studies and Psychology. As I completed Educational Studies courses, I learned that I love the field but I have too many interests within it – special education, bilingual education, counseling, education reform, etc – so I decided to take a few (2-4) years to explore opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom before I go to grad school.

    I am currently a Second-Year Teaching Fellow in an extended learning day program, Citizen Schools ( 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. I work with the school’s Parent Coordinator to organize family events and communication.

    I am going to Trinity on November 6 and 7 to talk to current students about Citizen Schools. If you have more questions after Tuesday’s session, please e-mail me so we can set up a meeting.

    Looking forward to speaking with you on Tuesday or during my visit!

  6. Hello from Philadelphia!
    I graduated from Trinity in 2007 with a dual major in Educational Studies and Public Policy and Law. Through my coursework at Trinity, especially “Cities, Suburbs, and Schools”, I became interested in Educational Policy. After graduation, my goal was to eventually influence Educational Policy at some level.
    I felt the best way for me to pursue this goal was to gain actual teaching experience, which could inform my policy decisions in the future. I joined the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows, Cohort 5, and began teacher training shortly after my graduation. The Teaching Fellows has a working relationship with the School District of Philadelphia and is able to provide training, then place teachers in Philadelphia schools. The Teaching Fellows partners with local colleges/universities to help Fellows pursue their teaching certification and Masters degrees while teaching. Going to school part-time while teaching is a huge time commitment, but is worth it. I also chose to extend my schooling to pursue my ESOL certification through Temple University.
    I was placed at Stetson Middle School in 2007 as a Special Education Teacher and am still teaching there now. In 2010, Stetson was transitioned from a Philadelphia School District school to a Charter School run by Aspira, Inc. The Philadelphia Teaching Fellows still serves as a network for me, where I can find opportunities for professional development and support from colleagues. I can also provide support for new Teaching Fellows as they begin their teaching careers.

  7. Hello there, Trin folk!
    I’m Ashley Ardinger and I graduated from Trinity in May with a major in educational studies and a minor in music. I’ve always been interested in becoming a teacher and through my experience at Trinity I learned that I enjoyed working with high school students and in special education. I applied for a federally funded program at the Teachers College at Columbia University called the Teaching Residents Program and was accepted into the Secondary Inclusive Education cohort. The other two cohorts are Intellectual Disabilities Autism (IDA) and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). The program is a 14 month intensive Masters program, and by June of next year I will be a certified special education teacher in NYC and have my Masters. I’m currently student teaching at a public high school in the Bronx while also taking classes at the Teachers College.
    I’m very excited to share more about my pathway to teaching and answer any questions you all may have! See you via Google+ in a few days!

    Ashley Ardinger

  8. Hello friends,

    My name is Courteney Coyne and I graduated from Trinity in May of 2010, with majors in Educational Studies, Global Studies and Hispanic Studies. My time at Trinity and in the Hartford Public Schools inspired my commitment to urban education, and motivated me to seek a degree in elementary education and become a classroom teacher.

    After graduating from Trinity I attended the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, where I was a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar. The Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars program is comprised of a cohort of students committed to the improvement of education in urban schools. While studying elementary education at BC I taught fourth grade in a Boston Public School.

    I am now in my second year of teaching third grade at the Amigos School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Amigos is a public, dual-language immersion school where students receive 50% of their instruction in English and 50% in Spanish. The school’s primary objectives are the bilingualism and biliteracy of its students. Teaching in Spanish in an urban setting has allowed me to connect my Trinity majors and continue my education across multiple areas of interest. I look forward to speaking with you further about my pathway to teaching.

    Very best,
    Courteney Coyne 2010

  9. Hello Everyone!

    I graduated from Trinity in 2008 with a dual major in Education Studies and Psychology. When I graduated I knew I wanted to pursue either psychology or education. I knew I wanted to do research of some kind because I had done so much of it at Trinity. I started out as a research assistant in a psychology lab and absolutely despised it. I didn’t feel as if I was doing anything of meaning. I started thinking of my options and reflected a little on my time as an Ed Studies student at Trinity. I remembered how much I loved my placements at MD Fox, McDonough, and Parkville. I also thought about a conversation I had with Jack at an AERA conference a few years prior and him mentioning that a lot of Ed Studies students don’t realize that they’d make good teachers. I think we get so locked into the research that we don’t always stop and think, “What difference can I make?”

    So, I found a few options to return to school to get my teaching certification. I knew I wanted to return to Hartford and teach because Hartford had done so much for me. I enrolled in the University of New Haven’s Master’s in Teaching program. It was a one year (tuition-free!) program. I worked as an intern where I lived (Enfield) and took my classes at night at a satelite branch (Newington). After interning for a year, I student-taught in Hartford at Wish. Interning really prepared me to student-teach. I was also lucky to have an outstanding cooperating teacher that pushed me to become better. My student-teaching experience led me to a long-term sub position in Hartford until I landed a full-time job last year teaching 4th grade at the Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School (ELAMS). I looped this year and am now teaching 5th grade. I love it and couldn’t think of doing anything else. Now I feel like I am finally giving back to Hartford.

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