Andrea Lu has been awarded the Mary Roosevelt Honor Scholarship in Teaching and Learning during the UCI School of Education 2018-2019 Scholarship Award Ceremony. Andrea is pursuing her Multiple Subject Master of Arts in Teaching. Below, she shares her thoughts about her academic journey.
I absolutely love what I do. The excited expression on my students’ faces when they see me in the morning; watching their individual personalities bloom more and more each day; and the way their eyes light up when they finally understand the difficult concept they’ve been struggling on… Such moments like these are so simple, but they inspire me to become the educator I am today.
Coming into UCI as an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to make an impact on children’s lives. I decided to double major in Education Sciences and Psychology to learn more about child development and learning. Along the way, I became involved with philanthropy and added a minor in Civic and Community Engagement. I completed over 150 hours of fieldwork in afterschool and preschool programs in Santa Ana and also balanced schoolwork and a job at a non-profit children’s museum.
As I became familiar with our education system over the years, I found myself frustrated over the inequitable practices we are letting our students experience. Something had to be done and I figured out one way I can be involved – become a teacher! Students spend approximately 900 to 1,000 hours in school each year (Center for Public Education, 2011). I may not be able to control what goes on in a student’s life outside of school, but I can definitely make a huge impact on the student’s life in the classroom. Every second with a student is valuable. Acknowledging this, I felt confident that this was the route I needed to take.
Children can be extremely unpredictable, but the things they do and say will never stop surprising me. Giving my students the opportunity to let their voices be heard is something I will emphasize constantly in my class. Also, letting them know that each one of them matters will surely improve our society. Although it may be a challenge, this is what our children need in order to become brave future leaders.
Andrea Lu and Mary Roosevelt