Commencement 19 Profile: Danika Morgan emerges as a student-centric Science Educator

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Danika Morgan will graduate with her Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science from the UCSB Teacher Education Program (TEP). Thank you for your contributions to the Gevirtz School, Danika!

GGSE: What did you like most learning about? What topics did you find particularly intriguing?
Morgan:
I believe the Special Education classes and the Special Topics courses were invaluable to the program. The classes were relevant and eye-opening, and discussed some of the more difficult topics that are bound to come up in this profession. Learning about the different programs and ways to support a wide range of student needs definitely made me feel more comfortable entering the education world.

GGSE: What did you learn about yourself this year that surprised you? About your students? About the field of Education? Etc.
Morgan:
I learned that I could handle a lot more than I originally thought I could. Going into TEP, I was worried about the workload and being able to balance my life, work, and school. In addition to student teaching, and completing my UCSB coursework, I was also able to maintain a part-time job on weekend nights, and eventually became the long term sub for all five periods for the last 17 days of school. I also learned a lot from my students. Working with Junior High and High School students taught me to be more patient, to laugh more, and to shake off the little things, because at the end of the day, what's important is that students walk out of my classroom feeling confident and positive about their school experience. I think the field of Education has come a long way but that there is and always will be room for improvement, advancement, and growth. And I believe that I, as a future educator, have the platform to push for those improvements.

GGSE: If you could give one piece of information that you wished every person on the planet knew about teaching or about children in schools, what would it be?
Morgan:
Remember that students have an entire life outside of school. These children are given the task to succeed academically while simultaneously learning how to overcome the challenges that life throws at them. Get to know your students, create positive relationships, and treat everyone with respect.

GGSE: What are your plans upon graduating?
Morgan:
I am currently still applying for teaching positions for both middle and high schools. Ideally, I would like to stay local, or semi-local, so that I can stay close to my family.

GGSE: Is there anyone in the Gevirtz School you would like to thank?
Morgan:
I would like to thank all of my professors and advisors. I would not be where I am now if it wasn't for their strong and positive reinforcement. I began TEP last year (2017-2018) and had to leave the program half-way through. My professors and advisors were caring and very supportive upon my return and I felt well prepared to jump back into TEP after being away for an entire year.