Teachers are heroes, coaches, mentors, and leaders; they are caring and inspiring. The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week, so say thank you to your child’s teacher or reach out to one of your past teachers and express your gratitude. Read how some of our alumni are making a difference every day. If you want more inspiration, check out our Teacher Inspires webpage!
Jasmin always knew she wanted to be a teacher so she had no hesitation applying to the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP), a blended program where she could earn her Bachelor’s Degree and teaching credential at the same time. Jasmin says she is incredibly grateful for the amazing job CSUN’s Credential Program did preparing her as a teacher. “When I first started teaching, I was nervous but as I was teaching and lesson planning, I realized that CSUN’s credential program really taught me how to do everything step by step.” Jasmin also appreciated her professors, noting, “CSUN professors are so invested in their students becoming lifelong learners, they really care about their students, and that makes CSUN’s credential program second to none.”
Jasmin explains how teachers wear many hats and that these hats are switched multiple times a day depending on the needs of each student. This past year, teachers had to be especially versatile because of the pandemic and the challenges teachers faced and continue to face with the new hybrid model. As Jasmine described it, “With the start of hybrid learning there were a lot of changes happening for both students and teachers, but whether students are at home or physically at school the most important thing to remember is the reason why we got into teaching. That helps me get through the day.”
Jasmin shared her hope for her students, “My wish for my students is that they hold on to their growth mindset as they grow into adults, to remember that they can always ask for help. I wish that they never stop asking why and they don’t lose their love for learning.”
Aimee Duran received her single subject credential in English. Aimee chose CSUN to pursue her teaching credential because it was affordable and she loved the campus. While she was a teaching credential candidate, she appreciated the professors in the program and how they prepared her, explaining, “The faculty in the Single Subject Credential Program have been in secondary education classrooms. They are familiar with the real challenges you will encounter and will prepare you for those challenges.” Because of Aimee’s positive experience in the Credential Program and when she heard that her favorite professor, Dr. Jenn Wolfe, would be teaching many of the courses in the English Education graduate program she decided to return to CSUN for the Master’s degree in Secondary English Education.
The last year has brought many challenges for teachers. Aimee’s most difficult challenge has been meeting students to where they are. She says, “We must know what their world is and try to bring it into our classrooms. We must select texts and materials that speak to them so that they are inspired and recognize that education is for them.” Aimee also expresses that teachers have always been dedicated and committed to their students and teaching but doing so remotely has brought on a new set of challenges. Aimee says, “I really care about my students and I am working very hard to make my class engaging and fun via Zoom. I want students to have a great time learning.”
Aimee wants her students to have the best possible learning experience and believes it starts with students having access to more books from various and diverse authors so that students have a variety to choose from. Aimee shared her aspiration for her own classroom: “I want my students to feel like my classroom is a place where they can come to hear great stories that ignite their imaginations. I want to give them that great story that stays with them for the rest of their lives.”
George Miserlis earned his Mild to Moderate Education Specialist Credential from CSUN in 2017 and then received his M.A. in Educational Therapy in 2018. He decided to pursue special education for two reasons: to have a solid career that no one could take away and because he wanted to make a difference. As George put it, “I can see potential in people and I know I have the gift to bring out the greatness in people.” He chose CSUN’s Credential Program because CSUN had a great reputation for preparing teachers. George explained that he was impressed on his first day of the Credential Program and that feeling never wavered because of his great professors and how they trained him. He says, “This program was definitely challenging, but I felt good because I felt like I was qualified to teach on day one.”
George explains that to be a good teacher you have to listen to the student, look into their life, and make your lesson about them. He notes, “Teachers have to be an entertaining guide to bring students to the information. You really have to be an artist in how you teach.” Teachers need to do a lot outside of the classroom to prepare and to make the day successful for both the teacher and student. George goes on to say that he puts a lot of effort making his students feel comfortable inside his classroom. “You have to create a space where students feel comfortable. You have to make the classroom feel like home. When the students are at ease they will succeed.”
George is dedicated to the craft of teaching and is committed to his students. His final thoughts are, “I wish joy for my students, joy for who they are and what they are, and joy for what they will become. You have to have joy for what you do, so that they can have joy.”