The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held today at 11:00 a.m....
Office of Communications
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401
Learning and Leadership Coach, Teach for America
Major in Political Science, Minor in Journalism
How did you choose your major?
I took a lot of introductory courses when I first got to Knox. I knew that math and science weren’t fields I wanted to go into, but other than that, I thought: Let me just try things out and see what interests me. I think political science was one of the first things I signed up for. It was amazing. Lane Sunderland made me love political science, the way he put the things we were reading into context. It wasn’t just: Read this textbook, take this test. We were actually having conversations. I think the size of the classes were really important, too. I was able to go to Lane’s office and talk about the different things we were reading, and I liked getting to know the other people in class. That’s how I met a lot of my friends. After class, we’d go to the Gizmo and kept talking about what we were studying. I felt such a strong connection with these people.
How did your Knox experiences change you?
When I arrived at Knox, I wasn’t much of a talker, I didn’t like to contribute in the classroom. One of my biggest influences was John Haslem in the Center for Teaching and Learning. I took one of his writing courses, and he did not let you just sit there and be quiet. He instilled this idea in me that my voice is important, and it should be heard.
How did you make the move from teaching to coaching teachers?
After my first year of teaching language arts for Teach for America, I became a content leader and spent a lot of time developing courses around teaching English and writing as well as teaching. I decided to enroll in a graduate program in public school leadership through Columbia University, and then this coaching opportunity came up.
Right now, I work with about 20 teachers in three school districts. I go into their classrooms and help them with management, leadership, and building projects. It’s something I discovered I really love—I like helping teachers tap into their specific strengths. Some are great at organization, others are great at execution. I believe every single person has the potential to be great at something. It’s just a matter of figuring out what it is.
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