CalTeach is a teacher credential program that attracts many undergraduate students for a variety of reasons but all the students in the program come together with a common goal of becoming exceptional Science and Math teachers in middle and high school classrooms. Our graduates work in schools all over the state delivering some of the best teaching in Science and Math. Meet some of the unique students we have in our program!
Meet Dimple – A Freshman with the Program:
Dimple first heard about the program from a CalTeach alumnus and as she is interested in education reform and curriculum design, decided to join CalTeach. Dimple saw the program as a stepping stone to reaching her goals and stated that, “The program offers a lot of hands on experience, and that it would lead me to become a great educator one day”. She is most excited about all the experiences she is going to have with her peers, fellow educators and instructors over the next few years. “I am a strong believer in gaining knowledge through experience and practice, so am excited for all the experiences I will gain through being in the CalTeach program”. Welcome aboard, Dimple!
Meet Oanh – a transfer student from community college:
Oanh has been with the program for a little over a year after transferring from community college. Oanh stated that she was “nervous about all of the different things from adjusting to the quarter system, taking more intense classes, being involved in school, and, especially, getting into the CalTeach program,” but that this nervousness was put to rest through the help of CalTeach professors. Oanh described her professors as “amazing and caring” and is excited about the opportunity to do fieldwork at different schools in the area. When asked how her experience has been with CalTeach and UCI, she replied, “beyond what I was hoping for!” Glad to have you with us, Oanh!
Meet Nic and Jessica – recent graduates of UCI and CalTeach!
When asked what he enjoyed most about being in the CalTeach program Nic stated, “the connections I have been able to make. Not only the friendships that I have built, but the professional connections that I have made with the school districts I’ve worked with, and the faculty here at UCI that supported my every step”. He continued to say that, “the staff in the CalTeach program have helped me grow as an educator and supported me,” on his path to becoming a mathematics teacher. Nic discussed the people he has met in the program have become some of his greatest friends over the last four years.
Nic hopes to start his career in Southern California teaching Math to public high school students in Orange County. He plans on working in the area before moving back to his hometown of Fresno where he would like to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education. Congratulations, Nic!
Over the past four years, Jessica loved the close ties she developed with both her cohort and the staff in the program. “I loved being able to just walk in and sit down and talk to Martha [Martinez] or go to Terry [Shanahan] when I needed help with fieldwork,” said Jessica. She continued to say, “it’s nice to be able to walk across the hall at student teaching and and see familiar faces, or even just go out to lunch outside of class time”. Jessica described CalTeach as being “more than just a class or major, but a program where they really care about you”.
After graduation, Jessica plans to work as a high school Biology teacher and would ultimately like to get her doctorate in Education. Congratulations, Jessica!
Meet Andrew – a CalTeach alumnus working at Clovis Unified School District:
Andrew graduated from CalTeach in 2014 and dived into a career teaching AP Biology, however, he didn’t always think teaching would be for him. When he first came to UCI Andrew was under the impression that teaching was one of the few things he certainly did not want to do, but during his first year in the program, he “fell in love with teaching”. Andrew stated that CalTeach gave him the training and resources he needed to be a successful teacher by learning “how to support a wide variety of diverse learners, with diverse skills, abilities and language proficiencies” and by gaining a “strong foundation in how to design curriculum that engaged students and allowed them to explore scientific phenomenon, all while aligning with state standards”. He believes the chance to apply and practice what he learned in college to actual classrooms gave him the confidence to complete his first year with great success.
Andrew’s advice for those in the program would be to “engage in everything you are learning” and “to get as much advice and ask as many questions as possible from your CalTeach instructors, the teachers you do fieldwork with, your masters teachers you have during student teaching and each other”. Keep up the great work, Andrew!