Expansion of WMSURE into the WM School of Education

In order to effectively integrate WMSURE into the WM School of Education so that the focus can be on recruiting and retaining WMSURE eligible students, we must first work on making WMSURE students aware about the opportunities at the School of Education before they even step foot on campus. I remember being matched up with a WMSURE pre-major advisor based on what I thought my major would be. I think it would be beneficial to send out a survey to WMSURE students who are committed to attending William and Mary. On this survey, we could ask questions about any sort of pre-professional advising the student may want. This would be a great way to serve as a pathway for students to be involved with in the School of Education and possibly pursue careers in the Education field. As students begin to start their first semester of classes and become acclimated to the William and Mary environment, I think it would be important to continue to involve students into the School of Education, whether that be through a class at the School of Education or a WMSURE event.

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When Things Get Tough….

 

Week two of summer teaching is complete! This week has been a rather trying week and I had a few moments where I was wondering whether or not teaching was right for me.  My low point this week came at the hands of one of my most difficult students getting upset and cursing at me at the end of my class.  This altercation resulted in a conference with my Program Directors and the student. I broke into tears because I truly care for all of my students and I give each of them the upmost respect, and to be disrespected like this really hurt. But throughout it all, I continued to push myself and remain positive. My career in education is not shaped by one negative experience I had in the classroom. It is shaped by the positive effect I have on all of my students. This is the outlook that I will continue have throughout the next few weeks whenever there are times where things aren’t going as planned.

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First Week of Teaching

My first week being a teacher has come to an end. I have never experienced such excitement, nervousness, and anticipation since my first day of college. I sang and danced as all of my students departed the bus and anxiously awaited their arrival to my class. For me, I wanted my class to be a place where they felt comfortable to talk to me about anything and also a place where they could learn to love math. I believe I’ve done a great job of accomplishing that for my classroom. I love all of my kids and my students show their love for me by entering my classroom every day more enthusiastic than the day before. One of my students told me “I never really understood math until I entered your class”. It is comments like this and the look of intellectual excitement in my student’s eyes that really validate my decision to enter the field of education and continue to impact the lives of future generations.

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Training Sessions and Long Nights

This past week has been a hectic and stressful one but I am glad to be here at Virginia Wesleyan College and teaching in the Breakthrough Program. This past week I have sat through numerous sessions discussing various topics, such as “Why Education is important?” “The Role of a Teacher”,  and “Active Participation”. It has been very interesting to learn about these subjects with a group of students who are very interested in education. But at times I feel like I am the odd one out. Out of my teaching cohort, I am one of four students of color (3 Black and 1 Latino) and I am the only student who comes from a low-income neighborhood (A majority of the students are from this area and have attended Norfolk Academy before entering college). My colleagues do not at all make me feel inferior and so far I have enjoyed the connections that are forming between us. But I do wonder how it will be on the first day of classes, when my fellow teachers who are not of color walk into their classroom and see the faces of students who do not look like them physically and do not come from similar backgrounds of the teachers.

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And so it begins….

I am excited to begin my research this summer on how Graduate Schools of Education can help recruit, retain, and support teachers of color. Very similar to last summer’s approach, I will be conducting my research while I am involved in an internship that is in the field of my research. I am working as a 9th Grade Math Teacher through the Breakthrough Collaborative Program, and I look forward to learning what its like to not only be a teacher, but how the organization recruits diverse candidates for its summer teaching roles.

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