Commencement 19 Profile: Rylee Theodore will return full circle to teach her alma mater

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A student throughout the ranks, we caught up with Rylee Theodore as she returns once again to the classroom, but this time, having earned her credential as a teacher. Theodore is another Gevirtz School Commencement 2019 feature this week, and is emerging from the UCSB Teacher Education Program with her Secondary Single Subject Teaching Credential in History and Social Science. 

GGSE: What did you like most learning about? What topics did you find particularly intriguing?
This year has been quite the year of learning, but I have to say I most enjoyed learning about my students. What motivates them, intrigues them, bores them, excites them, etc. Everyday I learned something new about the way students operate and how to be a better teacher for them. In terms of coursework, I found most intriguing the topics of instructional design and differentiation in our class with Tory Harvey. These topics are the central focus of my Master’s work and continue to both baffle and excite me.

GGSE: What did you learn about yourself this year that surprised you? About your students? About the field of Education? Etc.
I knew I cared about students before this year, but being in the classroom and getting to know them as individuals gave me a whole new perspective on just how I much care. I now understand why parents are always so worried about their kids and why they hang up artwork on the fridge even if it is absolutely atrocious - it’s love (thanks Mom and Dad)! This field is emotionally draining but the small moments make it all worth it.

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?
I have a sign on my desk that reads “You are capable of amazing things.” I wish every person on this planet knew that students are capable of amazing things. They are all unique humans with endless amounts of creativity, curiosity, passions and interests. They require attention, love, and support and as teachers it is our job to not only nurture students academically, but also emotionally. If we believe in them, chances are they will begin to believe in themselves.

GGSE: What are your plans upon graduating?
Upon graduating, I plan on hiking, camping, beaching (if it is ever sunny again), and enjoying my last few weeks in Santa Barbara. Then, my mom and I will be road tripping up Highway 1 as I make my move back to Northern California. There I will be returning to the high school I graduated from in 2012, but this time as the newest addition to the Social Science team where I will be teaching Gov/Econ and US History.

GGSE: Is there anyone in the Gevirtz School you would like to thank?
To all of the faculty and staff, thank you. Thank you for taking care of us and ensuring that we had the best possible experience. However, I reserve a special shoutout to Jen Scalzo and Tory Harvey. Thank you for being so supportive, for the baked treats, the hugs and words of encouragement, and for keeping us all sane through EdTPA. And secondly, to Chris Mullin and Julie Estabrook. Thank you for your mentorship, amazing history lessons, the humor, the snacks, and all of the love you have provided our history group.