act! Program Graduate
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with the act! program.
My name is Adam. I began the act! program in 2011. The reason why I got into the program was because I was not fulfilled in my last career and so I left my career and decided to go into substitute teaching to solidify my choice into that profession. I worked five years as a substitute teacher and found that it was a passion. My quality of life improved and I just felt better as a person. The act! program bridged my passion to become a teacher. The advisors acted as both advocates and mentors throughout the program. They were people to be used as resources and they made the transition very easy. I think the courses offered in the act! program are readily accessible whatever your lifestyle. I’m a hands on learner so the courses offered at local universities nearby benefited me to have because they allowed me to have interaction with the teacher, but there are also a lot of online courses that meet the needs of other people working full-time that do not have the opportunity to be in that classroom environment.
Did you have any challenges or need assistance while in the program?
The most challenging part of the program for me was not working. It was a sacrifice I made for this career change because I am not an audio learner, I’m a visual learner so I need to be active in my learning. That’s the kind of teaching I want to bring to the students, to actively learn science. My experience in the classroom has been great through my student teaching. Engaging the students in activities to learn concepts is key to the whole classroom environment and helps the student learn the concept when they’re actually doing experiments. I received the Noyce award just this last year. I took the Praxis tests last in my program. I found that as a benefit since I’ve been out of school for over 20 years. I do not have that content readily available at the tip of my tongue so it helped to have a couple science courses just to review and regurgitate that information that I learned in the past. So it was smooth transition, especially taking my science Praxis II, it went flawless.
Do you have any advice for others who are going into the program?
My advice would be to use the advisors as both advocates and mentors. They’re a source that I utilized more and more as I went through the program. I probably should have used them more at the beginning. I thank the act! program for giving me the chance to be a teacher.