I didn't expect much the first day of my Freshman seminar, the Educational Crusade, though I'd heard Chuck Dorn was an exceptional professor. As I learned about the educational system in America I wondered how I had gone through so much of the machinery without really examining it. The class not only taught me about the history and importance of learning, but also how to be both critical and appreciative of the institutions and classrooms that have guided my mind. Over the semester we created a 20-page research paper on a topic of our choosing. I studied how the responsibility for learning has evolved over the last half-century, and what caused responsibility to shift onto individual teachers. Chuck Dorn and Doris Santoro were also interested in the subject, and I continued the research as their Research Assistant, and as an Independent Study, in the Fall of my sophomore year.
That semester I also spent a lot of time in the Education Department as the Teaching Assistant, where I helped the many wonderful professors and spent a lot of time surprised by how ubiquitously friendly the department was. I learned a lot independently by reading the material I photocopied for their classes or going to dinners with lecturers. I also took Educating All Students with Doris Santoro, which is probably the hardest educational experience I have ever undergone. We spent the semester doing field work in a local elementary school, and I experienced the very difficult balance between teacher and counselor that exists with every student. The experience was both emotional and eye-opening, introducing me to the challenges of teaching, but also convincing me that it is something worth dedicating my life to.
I hope to become Teaching certified through Bowdoin in the spring after I graduate, but in the meantime I will settle for as many learning and teaching experiences as possible.
This summer I will be continuing my growth by teaching Nepali children Photography, the first steps in a global community immersion program I am crafting with other Bowdoin students. We want to create lasting connections between many different communities through visual communication.
I will begin teaching photography at an elementary school in Brunswick in the fall, and continue my work in Nepal by taking time off in the Spring. I would never have been able to concieve of such a big project, or take that responsibility, without the Education courses and the educational experiences I've had at Bowdoin.