Though I am just beginning my teaching career, there are many educational and professional experiences that have developed me as an individual and team member, which will serve my future students and school community. Some skills were developed inside the classroom, and others were not. Nevertheless, these skills are transferable and relevant to the teaching profession – each experience, each detour – developing a different aspect of my ever-evolving identity and growth as an educator.
I graduated from Gonzaga University with my Bachelors of Arts in journalism and a minor in philosophy. That being said, I spent my first two years at Gonzaga in the School of Education studying physical education. I spent a full year in two Title I Distinguished schools in Spokane as a student-teacher; one semester at Arlington Elementary School and one semester at Shaw Middle School. I learned valuable management and interpersonal skills in these positions, but unfortunately at the time did not have the perspective to continue in education. I had identified that physical education was not the right fit for myself and I switched my focus to explore the field of journalism. During that time, I became the Sports Editor for the Gonzaga Bulletin newspaper and worked as an intern publishing online articles for mynorthwest.com, a consistent recipient of the regional Edward R. Murrow Award. My focus was on journalism, but I couldn’t shake my desire to work with adolescents. I coordinated an after school mentoring program at Gary Middle School and volunteered on a mission trip to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation to assist in a K-8 school. Being in the classroom felt natural, but I temporarily pushed that feeling aside, afraid to stray from journalism.
For the next three years, I explored different professional paths in collegiate sports information, campus recreation at Gonzaga and sales at CBS Sports Radio in Washington DC. Unaware at the time, but each position developing significant skills that I can now identify as transferable to education. In sports information, I balanced the responsibility of 13 varsity sports and working with coaches and athletic administrators for all media coverage and game day operations. As the Assistant Director of Intramurals at Gonzaga, I trained, evaluated, and managed nearly 80 student-staff. I furthered presentation skills through my time at CBS Sports radio; working with business owners to develop marketing campaigns to grow their business. Now co-teaching in a high school English classroom, I realize how significant these skills of collaboration, management and developing effective presentations are to the success of an educator.
Most importantly, I have been student-teaching in three 9th grade Honors English classes and two 10th grade Honors English classes at Garfield High School for the past two months. Thankfully, I will be with these students for the entire year. To supplement my internship placement, I am enrolled in Seattle Pacific University’s Master’s in Teaching program with an anticipated graduation of August 2016. This combination of student teaching aligned with educational application creates a dynamic developmental experience. I am learning from a talented and passionate teacher who found his home in this profession more than 20 years ago. I have observed his methodology, borrowing many ideas, but at the same time, creating my own style and personality as a teacher. I apply the knowledge and theories from SPU to the evolution of my teaching philosophy and approaches. Garfield presents a diverse school, offering many opportunities to work with exceptional students, including those with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans. There is no better way to learn than being in the classroom.
In addition, I also have the ability to grow a school community through different avenues outside the classroom. My journalistic expertise, advanced through my education and numerous professional experiences qualify me as a suitable candidate for the advisory position for a student publication. Also, my passion for working with adolescents was first sparked by coaching. In 2008, I was the assistant manager for a 12-year-old select baseball team. This led to other coaching opportunities in various sports from elementary football to middle school basketball. Athletics have always been a passion of mine and I am a firm believer sports have the ability to facilitate growth in imperative life skill, such as teamwork, perseverance and responsibility. My personal athletic experiences and past positions make a strong candidate for coaching positions within high school athletics.