Anthony Chan received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and his Single Subject Credential through UCI's CalTeach Science and Math 4-Year Program in 2013. Upon graduation, he was hired to teach math at South Pasadena High School. Since joining South Pasadena, Anthony has discovered multiple opportunities for using the training he received through the CalTeach Program. Currently a Master of Arts Candidate in Educational Administration and Preliminary Service Credential at California State University, Los Angeles, Anthony shares his thoughts on the value of his CalTeach experiences.
I grew up attending Temple City schools from K-12. In high school, I got my first taste of considering education as a career when I served on the school board as a student member. In this role, I developed a profound respect for the decisions that would implement and execute a vision of what K-12 learning would look like in a district. I also realized all the work that goes into making a finished product.
At UC Irvine, I began as an Undecided/Undeclared major. One day, while walking on Ring Road, I saw the signs for the CalTeach 4-Year Program and was reminded of my interest in education. After meeting with counselors from the CalTeach Program and taking the initial classes and fieldwork, I was hooked on the fact that teaching can change lives.
Through my classes and field study, I discovered that CalTeach is a unique and amazing program that generates a system for creating not only a deeper understanding of pedagogy and implementation, but also a cohort system that helps students support each other in their math, science, and education classes. CalTeach creates an experience that allows prospective teachers to see education through fieldwork in K-12, where they do fieldwork at the elementary level and then the secondary level. One of the tenets of the CalTeach program is to have teachers see the “big picture” of education and how one teacher can make a difference in their classroom and beyond.
Coming out of CalTeach, I was lucky enough to be hired at South Pasadena High School. With Common Core State Standards at its infancy of implementation, I was able to make a difference right away. Through the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) pedagogical design modeled by CalTeach, I was able to work with other math teachers to focus on the 4C’s of California's Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I felt prepared to make an impact not only on students in my classroom, but also on students in other classrooms. This past year I was able to further instill the principles and instructional design taught to me by CalTeach instructors by mentoring a student teacher.
Molded by my belief that education occurs not only in the classroom, I volunteered for additional activities. I became a football coach, a track coach, and a Junior Class Advisor in charge of Homecoming, Prom, and Powderpuff Football; and I used these opportunities to emphasize to my students that activities outside the classroom also create experiences that can transform young adults.
In my personal growth, it was important for me to learn to improve as an educator – both in the classroom and outside the classroom as well, so I served as WASC Coordinator for our Self-Study Report in 2017. Being a WASC Coordinator brought me back, full circle, to what interested me in education. I was reminded of the importance of reflection at the school level and of having measurable progress and outcomes. Additionally, I discovered the importance of organization and leadership in approaching a large document like the Self Study Report by implementing various focus group leadership meetings and using G Suite.
The idea of continually analyzing and approaching areas of focus has become one of my passions. So, in 2018, I volunteered to serve on a WASC Visiting Committee. Being on a visiting committee opened my eyes to looking at schools from an outside perspective. It was such an enjoyable experience that I volunteered to be on a visiting committee again in 2019. Now, as a Master’s in Educational Administration candidate, I recognize that the study of how we can strengthen our educational system, combined with my WASC experiences, is continuing to grow my passion in education.
Looking forward, I am excited to tackle the challenges facing education. As technology continues to increase and labor moves towards automation, our educational system will need to change as well. The UC Irvine CalTeach Program and their amazing staff prepares prospective educators on creating relevant curriculum for a changing world. The values that CalTeach instilled into my principles will continue to inspire my growth as an educator.