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Alumni Share Experiences as New Teachers

Two College of Education alumni shared their teaching experiences in Dr. Michael Faggella-Luby‘s Literacy Methods in Special Education course on Tuesday, February 16. Sam Moseley ’15 and Shellie Shirley ’13 answered questions from the Language/Literacy and Special Education Accelerated Master’s cohorts about managing expectations, balancing work and personal lives and their advice for those still attending TCU.

Sam said his passion for teaching was met with the reality of working with the same students every day, without the support of another teacher in the classroom.

“I expected every day in the classroom to be like, ‘I love this’,” Sam said. “There’s more of a perseverance aspect than I considered. It’s a daily grind, a good one.”

He said some classes may become even more helpful after college ends, in his case a course on emotional connections with students.

Shellie expressed that for many children, she serves as their only teacher and mentor. She said many of her students have to take on extra responsibilities at home, and few have a parental figure who can help with their math homework.

Shellie said when she began teaching she was surprised to learn how much expectations jump from grade to grade. She recommended that teachers know the standards for grades above and below the level they’re teaching, and that they remember to be flexible. A behavior plan or lesson that works for one student won’t work for another, be flexible and do the best job you can, she said.

“Ask yourself every day whether you’d hire or fire yourself,”she said.