Master of Arts in Teaching Multiple Subject Candidate Mikaela Montgomery has received the 2017-2018 President's Educator Fellowship, presented by Susan Toma-Berge on November 7, 2017.
About Mikaela Montgomery
I have always been drawn to teaching as a profession. Teachers have a unique opportunity to touch the lives of their students and make a positive lasting impact. Growing up in a family of six children, I was constantly surrounded by people and developed a love for working with others. My family taught me patience, collaboration, generosity, kindness, and acceptance; virtues I hope to carry with me in my teaching career.
My desire to teach was strengthened through my experiences in volunteer work. Starting in high school, I volunteered at my church teaching Bible lessons to four- and five-year-olds. Through this involvement, I was given the opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa, to work with children in local villages. I returned home from this transformative experience with an even greater and more profound love for children. I continued my volunteer work as I transitioned into my undergraduate study at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I volunteered as a coach for a Special Olympics team. Working with these players each week and experiencing their contagious joy and excitement was truly inspiring. Later on in my academic career, I studied abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I volunteered at a blind school. At this school I taught English to both kindergarten and eighth grade classes. Teaching English to blind students was exceptionally challenging but all the more rewarding. This experience taught me the importance of knowing the needs of my students and giving them the support they need to succeed. My experiences working with children in these various organizations fueled my passion for teaching and led me to the path of obtaining a Masters in Education at UCI.
As a future teacher, I seek to foster a classroom environment of respect and open-mindedness. I hope to inspire my students to take ownership and accountability in their learning. I want to inspire, challenge, and encourage my students to reach their full potential. I will teach my students to learn from their mistakes and remind them that success is achieved through hard work and dedication. I will give equitable treatment to all of my students and use their backgrounds and past experiences as assets in the deepening of their knowledge. Through differentiated instruction, I will strive to eliminate the barriers of learning that prevent students from success. I will value the diversity in my classroom and provide high-quality learning experiences for all of my students. I believe that if I set high standards for my students, they will rise to surpass my expectations. I hope to instill in my students a love for learning and to encourage their development into life-long learners.