For Now: Interviews with Marquette COED Students

_9596765_origBy Noel Hincha – A month and a half – almost two – flows by; it’s filled with exams, studying, socializing, and exploration. A first-year student walks about campus, her face burrowed in her book, trying to finish the last chapter of a reading assignment. A million thoughts compete for prominence amongst her daily tasks and schedule: What am I doing? Another first-year student strolls through the AMU, his face slightly sweaty and residue of crafts stuck to his shirt. A smile beams from his face, and his friends question the tape and glue adhered to his clothing; he just came back from service learning.

Students weave in and out of sidewalks, classrooms, dorms, and each other. Now, they are students. In a few years, they will be the new generation of gifted teachers weaving in and out of students, hallways, and their own classroom. For now…

 

Lupe Serna: Elementary Education and Spanish Major, Bilingual/Bicultural Minor

Why or what made you pursue teaching?

I want to help people and I love children, so I want to interact with children and show them – especially minorities – that they have the potential to succeed academically and outside the classroom. I’ve had good teachers that believed in me, that helped me excel and succeed as a student. My personal ambition and good teachers influenced me to pursue teaching.

How do you think Marquette will prepare you?

I think the Marquette education program prepares students well by allowing them to experience hands-on teaching as soon as freshman year. It exposes them to different classroom experiences and gives them an idea of what they will potentially encounter in the future. I think this helps students better prepare for their career. In essence, it gives us an opportunity to put into practice what we learned in the classroom.

What are you most excited about?

I am excited about spending time with kids, getting to know them, and showing them different skills that can help them in the future as well as help them realize their potential as a student. I also look forward to challenging them so that they can be open to new opportunities and different ways of thinking.

What do you think will be some obstacles?

It’s hard to think of any obstacles, but I think it will be difficult for me to teach students who don’t demonstrate a desire to learn; it’s not their fault, but it will still be hard for me to look past that trait and realize or sympathize.

Angel Fajardo: Secondary Education Major

Why or what made you pursue teaching?

What made me pursue teaching? It was a factor of a lot of things, but three in particular stand out. The one that planted the seed: I used to watch a movie called Stand and Deliver, it is about a teacher who leads a class of underperforming Latino students in Los Angeles to pass the AP Calculus exam – it always has a soft spot in my heart, and there’s a character named Angel in it; I wanted to be that teacher, the Edward James Olmos who could take hidden talents of his class and bring them to light. The second factor was during middle school when a substitute teacher came in, and I –a middle school, MPS kid – became a smartass, correcting the teacher. She told me, frustrated, “If you’re so great, why don’t you teach the class.” So I did, as well as a weeklong detention. The most influential moment, however, was during a weeklong community service by the seniors of my high school. My site was at an elementary school, and the kids and I took to each other immediately – I realized I could do this for the rest of my life.

How do you think Marquette will prepare you?

Quite a few of my previous teachers were Marquette alumni, and each had a unique way of teaching. They had high expectations yet were personable and inspirational, trying to shape me into the student I knew I could be – they weren’t just looking for a paycheck. I think this is how Marquette will prepare me; any college can teach someone the material, but Marquette is going to teach me not only what to teach, but how to teach.

What are you most excited about?

A student’s gratitude is probably what motivates me the most; success is relative. I am most excited for the moment a child looks at me, and says that I made a change in their life.

What do you think will be some obstacles?

I am my own worst enemy. I procrastinate more than I can afford and beat myself up when I know I have not performed my best. On top of that, not every student is going to accept me, despite my best interests; that rejection is probably going to hurt more than any circumstantial situation I could find myself in.

Emma Nitschke : Secondary Education and French Major

Why or what made you pursue teaching?

The reason I’m pursuing teaching is for the interest I have in the material and for the joy of teaching. I wanted to pursue French and have always been fascinated in languages; I figured if I loved it so much, I would probably enjoy sharing that learning with my students. As a Christian Formation teacher, I found interacting with students to be refreshing, and it would be different every day. I like the idea that I can help young people learn skills, potentially develop fluency, and help them become more aware of the world around them.

How do you think Marquette will prepare you?

I think Marquette will prepare me in depth and breadth of experiences it offers me. First, all my teaching courses will teach me how to be an effective and caring teacher by discussing theory of education and strategies to implement in planning curriculum and maintaining control in a classroom. My French major will allow me to deepen my knowledge on the subject so that I am qualified to teach it. Finally, service learning will allow me to remember social justice and implement it in my instruction. Student teaching will be the dress rehearsal, introducing me to the life of a teacher.

What are you most excited about?

The thing I’m most excited about is getting to know my students – seeing new faces, personalities, skills, and lives. Further, developing a positive relationship with my students and developing a rapport in the classroom will be an interesting journey to undertake each year.

What do you think will be some obstacles?

I expect there to be obstacles in education, like there are in everything else. I worry that my students won’t like me, that they may disrespect me, that they won’t understand my explanations, that they’ll hate my projects, that they’ll refuse to do homework. Teaching, as a career, can be easily overwhelming and consuming. There is also a fear of unemployment, especially for my intended path. In the past, public schools cut French languages out of their programs in favor of Spanish and Chinese. Also, unfortunately, in America, we don’t value education and teachers aren’t paid as much as other jobs. Even through all these doubts, I still choose to major in education and French; my desire to be a French teacher, to be called Madame and make high schoolers sing songs about verbs, is louder than these doubts.

 

For now, they are college students; their days are counted by exams, homework, late nights, and community. For now, they are young adults; their dreams are made through inspiration, determination, and a little leap of faith. For now.

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