Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Makings of an Educator

By Gabriella Delgado

One of the most noble and admirable professions is that of being a teacher. Education is one of the most popular Bachelor’s degrees in the United States. Obtaining a job as an educator has become increasingly difficult throughout the current years. One way of making yourself more marketable as a teacher is obtaining special education certifications and furthering your education by receiving master’s degrees. These are all some of the steps Angie Orellana is taking in her plan of becoming a future educator.

Angie is a senior at Saint Thomas Aquinas College, majoring in Childhood Special Education with a concentration in Spanish. Angie was raised and is still living in the Bronx, New York. As a child she dealt with a learning disability which made it difficult for her as a student. She remembers having many difficulties in elementary school, especially in 2nd and 3rd grade. In fifth grade, however, things began to look up for Angie when she had teachers that were very supportive and encouraging.

In the fifth grade Angie also had a couple of pen-pals who were education majors at Saint Thomas Aquinas College. Angie and the other students were taken to STAC to meet their pen-pals. There she told one of her pen-pals, Kristen, that she wanted to be a teacher and Kristen told her to simply “go for it.” These teachers in fifth grade, along with her mother who is also a teacher, and her pen-pal were all her influencers in her decision to become a teacher. When asked the main reason why she wants to become a teacher, Angie responded, “I want to learn more about myself and kids just like myself with learning disabilities. I want to do for them what my teachers did for me.”

Since the age of 13, Angie has been volunteering at the pre-school where her mother teaches and has been tutoring other individual students. She has also been observing different teachers as part of a requirement of the education program at STAC. At STAC, Angie has learned how to improve her skills. The Education Program has taught her how to differentiate her style of teaching to the needs and readiness of the students.

When asked what she likes most about the Education Program at Saint Thomas Aquinas College she responded “They play no games! I’m joking.” She also explained how she likes how the professors get to know you on a one-on-one basis so as to make sure teaching is right for you as a student, because you will be influencing the lives of many children. It seems that the Ed. Program is difficult, but this is because “they want to weed out the bad ones from the good ones,” explains Angie.

She keeps herself motivated when facing difficult times by remembering the difficulties she had in elementary school and how her teachers helped her. These memories remind her that she wants to be that person for her students in the future and to make a difference in their lives.

Angie wants to obtain a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology at Mercy College after graduating from Saint Thomas Aquinas College with a Bachelor’s degree in childhood education with a specialization in Spanish. Angie wants to receive a masters in Speech Pathology so as to help children who are suffering from the same learning disability she had. She hopes to one day teach in the Bronx, because she likes the diversity in the schools and neighborhoods. She also likes that it is an urban area and that transportation is easier.

Gabriella Delgado is a senior at Saint Thomas Aquinas College and is going to graduate this spring with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing with a Public Relations minor. She plans to pursue a Masters in Public Affairs in Non-Profit Management this upcoming Fall.

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