“The CSU I attended is California State University, Dominguez Hills. CSUDH has helped me become the teacher I always wanted to be by providing me with numerous opportunities, such as hands-on teaching; assisting teachers; supplemental instruction; one-on-one mentors, tutors and program advisement (Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI), Noyce, and Transition to Teaching (TTT); cohort classes; and peer observations.
As a MSTI participant throughout my undergraduate studies, I was provided with the opportunity to teach hands-on at the Saturday Lab School in Gage Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). I would plan with other lead teachers, create assignments and teach the planned lessons. This experience guided me to reflect on a daily basis and learn what to expect from my future career as an educator. Along with the Saturday Lab teaching, I was assisting LAUSD and Lynwood Unified Middle School teachers 20 hours a week. This was an eye-opening experience because this was when I realized I no longer wanted to teach middle school and was more interested in teaching high school mathematics.
CSUDH was able to provide me with another undergraduate studies program by the name of NOYCE. CSUDH was able to meet my needs as a future educator, which led my path to be the teacher that I always wanted to be. Once I started assisting teachers in high schools, I was able to see my future path with clarity and that would never have happened if CSUDH hadn’t provided me with classroom experiences early in my undergraduate studies.
Once I realized that I wanted to teach in high schools, I began to work as a supplemental instructor at CSUDH. I would sit in during algebra and pre-calculus classes, then create mini-lessons to supplement students during my workshops. Creating lessons on a daily basis kept the practices and methods that a teacher should have as a routine in my life, including scaffolds, differentiations, and checking for understanding. I was also submitting lesson plans and extended activities on a weekly basis, which was my guidance to produce well-formatted lesson plans.
Soon after receiving my bachelor’s degree, it was time to determine which credential program I would be a part of. Lucky for me, CSUDH has a transitioning program from Noyce to TTT. TTT started in the summer and went for one year. As I was taking my credential classes, I was provided with the opportunity to get hired as a full-time high school teacher with the position of an intern.
Throughout my internship, my credential classes were a huge part of my teaching strategies, methods, characteristics, etc. Not only did TTT have extraordinary coaches and mentors that had five or more years of teaching experience, but they were also once TTT members themselves. I was learning from teachers that were still in the classroom and hands-on with their students on a daily basis. I was able to learn how to balance my work, school and personal life, which helped me with pacing my lessons and curriculum as an educator.
Our mentors provided us with their own lessons, activities and teaching strategies that worked, which meant that I went into my classroom with useful knowledge on a daily basis. Our mentors also supported us outside of our afternoon classes by observing us, providing useful feedback, reviewing our lesson plans, and collaborating with us to create activities or extend one of theirs.
CSUDH has created a path for people like me who have always wanted to become teachers. I am proud and fortunate of all the experiences, knowledge, encouragement and success I have received. CSUDH has helped me become the teacher that I always wanted to be.”
Read more profiles of Teachers Made in the CSU.