William D. Cabana '11
I did not plan on studying education and teaching when I arrived at Bowdoin, and to be honest, I did not even know that getting certified to teach was an option here. When the time came to sign up for my first semester courses, Chuck Dorn’s Contemporary American Education stood out. I figured that education studies would be a great complement to my other focus, government. I thoroughly enjoyed Chuck’s class in its own right. I was amazed that in a short time in the class I was able to look at education through a whole new lens and think about it in ways that had never occurred to me when I was going through my own schooling.
The next year enrolled in Doris Santoro’s Educating All Students. This class included a placement in a local elementary school, and it was my experience there that set off a spark in my head. As I progressed through the semester and developed ever closer relationships with the students, it occurred to me that teaching might be the right fit for me. My recent teaching courses, such Adolescents in School with Katie Byrnes, have driven home the point that teacher-student relationships are perhaps the most important component to learning, and also are what make teaching so rewarding. Understanding this has reaffirmed my decision to pursue teaching, because the personal connections are what lead me to it in the first place.
As of now, I am committed to following the path to become a teacher by getting certified through Bowdoin. I am keeping an open mind about what age students I want to teach as well as the type of school in which I want to work. As a proud product of a public school, I have been leaning towards teaching in one as well. However, I am learning more and more about charter schools and alternative programs that can be very exciting and rewarding in their own ways.
Over the past couple of years, I have developed an interest in special education. This summer, I worked for Woodford’s Family Services in Portland, Maine in a residential program for people with special needs. I found spending time with the residents in their daily lives very rewarding and enjoyable. This experience has sparked an interest in being involved in the education of students with disabilities and psychological disorders.
Regardless of where I end up, or whether or not I even decide to become a teacher, I will always consider my education and teaching courses at Bowdoin to have been worthwhile. I have been able to relate the knowledge and skills that I have accumulated so far to almost everything else that I am studying at Bowdoin. With many more hours yet to be spent in courses here and classrooms in the community, I anticipate learning even more that will benefit me far into the future.