Master of Arts in Teaching Multiple Subject Candidate Bahara Baghkhanian was presented with the 2017-2018 Dean's Scholarship by Dean Richard Arum.
About Bahara Baghkhanian
My decision to pursue a profession as an educator is one that I made after years of searching for an answer to a question. There was never a moment that I wondered whether I would work with children, for I have always been certain of that. Rather, I was not sure of the manner in which I would do so.
As I look back on my professional experiences, I realize that each one contributed to furthering my understanding of what I was truly interested in. As I began my journey at UC Irvine, I volunteered at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where I oversaw the Pediatric Neurology Playroom. Through that experience, I came to realize that I wanted to pursue a profession where I would have to ability to create a setting for children to feel nurtured and encouraged. Further, my involvement as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Jodi Quas’ Child Development Lab at UC Irvine taught me how important children’s surroundings are to their development of emotions and perceptions of others. The knowledge I gained as a research assistant fueled my aspiration to commit myself to a cause where I could be a consistent source of guidance in children’s lives. Although I had a bit more clarity as to what I hoped to pursue, it was not until I completed a field study internship at Northwood Elementary School, where I discovered the answer to the question that I had been searching for. Combining all of the elements that I had an interest in, I became absolutely certain that my calling was to become an elementary school teacher.
My decision to become an educator stems from my inherent desire to be positive guiding force in children’s lives. Being in the classroom on a daily basis to promote academic and personal growth, is what I aspire to do. Having the opportunity to educate, uplift, and support youth is something I value. By creating a classroom environment that is consistently safe (both emotionally and physically), I hope to ignite an enthusiasm for learning that will carry with students in various domains throughout their lives.
As an educator, I strive to create an inclusive, equitable learning environment for students to thrive in. I believe that the purpose of education is to provide children with enriching learning opportunities that allow for them to grow as intellectual, social, emotional, and personal beings. I aim to establish a student-centered classroom that builds upon children’s interests and abilities, promotes inquiry and creativity, and emphasizes collaboration and cooperation. To ensure that the learning process feels meaningful to students, I believe that designing culturally responsive lessons that meet the needs of each child is essential. My aim as an educator is to not only enhance the knowledge and skills of students, but to also guide them in becoming productive citizens of society who embrace diversity and lead ethically responsible lives.