We are excited to shared our latest student spotlight featuring Stephanie Singer! Stephanie is a student in the University of San Francisco – Sacramento Campus Master of Arts in Teaching + Teaching Credential (MAT) program. In this blog post, Stephanie shares with us a bit about her journey from viticulture to teaching and what type of educator she strives to be for her students!
Talk about your journey leading up to USF Sacramento. What inspired you to pursue the MAT and your Teaching Credential?
Becoming a teacher is a second career for me. Before enrolling in the MAT program here at USF Sacramento, I spent over 15 years in the wine industry. I have my B.S. in Viticulture and Enology and thought I would become a winemaker. Life had other plans, however, and my career was in the sales, marketing, and hospitality sector of the industry. During this time, my awareness regarding the social justice issues that many in our community face grew. I felt called to do something that would make a greater impact in my local community. I love working with young people. They inspire me. I hope to empower members of the next generation to help leave the world a better one than the one they have inherited. Plus, I have missed using the science central to my undergraduate studies.
What are you looking forward to about student teaching and what skills are you hoping to demonstrate in the classroom?
When I begin student teaching this fall, I am most looking forward to the opportunity to learn from a master teacher in a dynamic classroom setting. I have been working as an aide in St. John Notre Dame’s middle school science classroom this past school year and have valued the opportunity to have hands-on experience with students. Next year I will be in a high school chemistry classroom, the content area I plan to teach. I am hoping to bring a mix of enthusiasm for the material, empathy, and humor to the classroom. I have learned so much this past year from my instructors here at USF Sacramento, and as I apply the things we have learned to my practice, I know that I will continue to reach out for guidance and support.
What projects or hobbies are you passionate about outside of teaching?
I have a two and half year-old, so between school, work, and family life, I haven’t had as much time to devote to personal hobbies these days. However, maintaining meaningful connections with friends and family is important to me. I also make a concerted effort to carve out time for regular self-care. For me, that includes exercise (I’m a Peloton fanatic), unplugging from my devices, and being reflective of my feelings and emotions. We talk a lot about our kiddos being emotionally dysregulated and helping them to find coping strategies. Still, as adults, we don’t often put the same time and effort into those strategies for ourselves.
What class has been the most interesting and enlightening so far during your time in the program?
I have sincerely loved all of the courses in our program so far! There is so much to learn, and we are just scratching the surface. With that said, if I had to choose a favorite, it has been a tie between Teaching for Social Justice and Diversity and Teaching Adolescents. We began our program with Teaching for Social Justice and Diversity, which set the tone for our program. I find myself regularly referring back to the materials and content. Much of the material we’ve been exposed to focuses a lot on elementary-age students. Our Teaching Adolescents course specifically addresses the needs of our middle and high school students. This is invaluable to an aspiring high school educator.
If you could give one piece of advice to incoming students, what would it be?
If I could offer one piece of advice to incoming students, it would be to embrace the process and stay curious. This program is fast-paced and jam-packed with information. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you receive a syllabus but dive in head first. All of our professors have been supportive and helpful. They are a wealth of knowledge; take advantage of your time with them, and don’t be shy about asking questions. Explore topics that challenge you and inspire you! Now is the time to self-reflect and ask tough questions about the type of educator you want to be for the students you will serve.
On behalf of the USF Sacramento Team, we would like to thank Stephanie for sharing her story with us. We can’t wait to see where her career takes her and check back in for an Alumni Spotlight!