At the 2016-2017 Master of Arts in Teaching Recognition Ceremony, Devon Zangger was awarded a Mary Roosevelt Honor Scholarship in Teaching and Learning for excellence in academics, demonstrated leadership skills, and dedication to improving the lives and educational opportunities of students. XDevon is pursuing her MAT with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Below, she shares her thoughts about her educational journey and her chosen career.
I grew up in Irvine in a multicultural household. In Irvine, I was surrounded by teachers whose passion for teaching was evident in what they were able to bring out of their students. In elementary school, all of my teachers made me feel safe, respected, and empowered. I knew that if my teachers could make me feel that way, I wanted to carry on in their legacy, promoting these same ideas in the children that I would one day work with. I have been working towards my goal of teaching at the elementary level ever since.
I completed my BA in sociology with a minor in education at UCI. While attending UCI, I worked a variety of jobs to support myself. I worked as an English as a second language teacher, an instructional assistant at a preschool, an instructional assistant at an elementary school, and as a private tutor.
Post-graduation, I am continuing to diversify my experience by becoming a substitute teacher and by leading the upper grade program at an after school center. In each of these areas, I was exposed to students from various backgrounds and education levels. All of these experiences further pressed upon me my desire to teach in an elementary classroom, to support the learning of these students, and give them an equitable education that empowers them to become lifelong learners.
I chose to continue my education at UCI because during my undergrad years I was able to interact with professors that were experienced and a culture of intellectual risk taking. I was challenged by UCI to put forward my best work and to keep in mind a global perspective. In addition, UCI pushes students to achieve their full potential through their high standards--something I want to carry into my own classroom. I also chose UCI because I want to be prepared to meet the many challenges that teaching presents, and I know that UCI will assist me in overcoming those challenges.
I look forward to teaching in my own classroom where I will be able to emphasize a global perspective. I hope to work in a multicultural classroom where students will be able to pull from diverse backgrounds and build empathy for others. Like Mary Roosevelt, my aim is to be able to serve my students and foster their growth and development.
Mary Roosevelt and Devon Zangger
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