This week we caught up with Teacher Education Program (TEP) student Samantha Chang, who is working on her Multiple Subject Credential. Chang, who is originally from Fremont, CA, has a BA from UCSB in Sociology, with minors in English and Education.
GGSE: What has been a highlight of your TEP experience so far?
Chang: The highlight of my TEP experience thus far is recognizing the sneaky fundamental changes that occur as a symptom of participating in such a rigorous program. Student teaching has made me more assertive, has opened my heart in ways I never imaged to my students, and has necessarily reaffirmed my vocational path. Working day in and day out with my peers has made me more appreciative of human connection and has amazed me by how friendships creep up on you in some of the most miraculous of ways. Interacting with faculty has reassured me that everyone in this program is rooting for you, a comfort we in the TEP program have the privilege to experience. There are many days when I return to my apartment drained and doubtful, but the glimmers in which these character shifts are realized make it all worth it.
GGSE: When you have your own classroom, what grade do you want to teach and why?
Chang: I honestly don't know what my ideal grade would be. I am currently teaching in a 1st-grade classroom, a grade I never thought I would enjoy with the ferocity I do today. However, I do believe that my teaching style aligns more with an upper grade, perhaps 6th. My pedagogy rests upon the foundation of representation, not only showing my students a diversity in voice, but allowing them to find a sense of authority in their own stories. This paired with my inclination towards a more discussion based way of teaching makes me think that 6th grade is the ideal. But who knows? Only time will tell!