“I would not be as prepared as I am without all the strategies, techniques, and ideas that I learned from CalTeach classes.”
My name is Archana Venugopal and I graduated from UCI as part of the 2014 CalTeach cohort, with a Bachelor’s in Biology/Education. I currently teach at The Palmdale Aerospace Academy in Antelope Valley. I teach 9th grade Engineering and 10th grade Biology, which has been a unique and fun experience. I’m learning a lot from teaching here, as I love the school’s philosophy on 21st century skills and collaboration.
I started my involvement in CalTeach during the first quarter of my freshman year, when my mom handed me a flyer for one of the classes and asked if I was interested. She knew I had enjoyed tutoring and teaching others since I was a child.
My first few weeks in the introductory CalTeach class went wonderfully well, until I learned that I would actually be thrown into a classroom and even take over teaching a class for a day. Even though I knew these were elementary school children, I was terrified to have to get in front of the class, stand on my own, and educate young minds. I didn’t even like public speaking!
By senior year, after all my experiences in various classrooms, I actually found myself comfortable and excited to be standing in front of high school children and teach them about Biology.
Now, as a full-time teacher, I’ve really been enjoying my experiences. I’ve gotten involved in Robotics, Science Olympiad, and a Zoology course, all things I would have never expected but am so grateful for.
It’s been great to get to know students in the classroom and in afterschool activities, and I consider myself very lucky to have a position at TPAA. From working together with other wonderful teachers who are open to all ideas and lesson plans, to students who really know how to make my day (and stress me out), to the various technologies and techniques I’ve been learning about, this school has been giving me new things to appreciate every day.
I know that I would not be as prepared as I am without all the strategies, techniques, and ideas that I learned from CalTeach classes, mentors, and fellow students in my cohort, as well as the endless support from my family.