By junior year of college, I knew that I loved critical thinking, wrestling with big ideas, and asking questions, so Philosophy and English were the majors for me. Yet, I could not see where I’d find an opportunity to pursue my passion for these subjects when I graduated until I went on a trip with Lasallian Volunteers, to Tijuana, Mexico. There, I worked as an English tutor for children who lived and learned in a small orphanage. At that point, it was as if a light bulb went off inside my head. Since I was three years old, I had been educated in outstanding schools. It was because of the guidance from these institutions that I was able to develop a strong intellect, clear morals, and a group of loyal friends. From that point on, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do than become a teacher.
After graduating with honors from Manhattan College, I entered the University of New Haven’s Masters in Education program. This program provided me with rich hands on experience by placing me at Brewster Elementary school as a permanent sub. Here, I not only had the opportunity to observe great teachers in action, I also was able to develop my own teaching style and classroom management skills with two long term sub positions as both a second grade teacher for 5 weeks and a first grade teacher for 10 weeks. As a permanent sub, I learned how to use formative assessment to quickly modify my lessons. I used information from summative assessments to map out how I would implement old standards that needed to be revisited with standards that had not yet been introduced.
Upon the completion of my internship, I began student teaching at Elm City Elementary College Preparatory School—part of the highly regarded Achievement First Charter Network. At Elm City, I assumed the position of fourth grade head teacher. I was responsible for planning and implementing much of the curriculum. Achievement First also provided me with the unique opportunity to participate in “New Staff Training” This program is an intensive two week training course which equips young teachers with cutting edge educational strategies including how to develop strong aim, incorporating new technology and evidence based instructional strategies in lessons and emphasizing character building skills into common core lessons to develop a solid classroom culture.
I finished my masters program with a 3.9 GPA and received the PLT Certificate of Excellence for scoring in the top 5 percent of student teachers in the country. I have a relentless work ethic and dedicated the last few years of my life to becoming a qualified candidate for one of New York’s outstanding Charter Schools and I look forward to one day continuing to grow and develop my “teacher tool kit” as a full time teacher.
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