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Supporting an unconventional path to teaching

Emily Collins '20W and Devan Carter '20W have two things in common. Both of their mothers are teachers, and they are each pursuing that same path toward having their own classroom. To pursue that passion of shaping young minds, they also both decided that the Warner School of Education was the best place for them to achieve that goal.

Neither one of them took the conventional route to get there. For Collins, although she grew up spending a lot of time in school helping her mom prepare her classroom, teaching was not the career she saw for herself.

"I actually didn't want to be a teacher for a long time," says Collins. "I have teachers in my family, and I kind of wanted to go out and do something different."

She majored in international relations as an undergraduate, and then seeking a new adventure abroad, found herself teaching English in Thailand.

"I was supposed to be there for six months, and I stayed for a year and a half instead, because I just totally fell in love with it."

Devan Carter similarly found himself looking for just the right path after graduating from Rutgers University. After talking with his mother and running into some of his high school football coaches who also were teachers, he thought he’d give teaching a try.

“I had the opportunity to start substituting in the Rochester City School District. And through that, fell in love with it.”

For many students who don’t get an education degree or teaching certification as an undergraduate, the teaching and curriculum program at Warner presents an opportunity to get the expertise and support they need to be successful in their own classroom. And they can do it in just about a year.

These students say not only is Warner giving them the knowledge they need to be an elementary school teacher, but they appreciate the supportive community environment at Warner, and the emphasis on social justice.

“The Warner School, it really shows you what's the purpose of everything you do,” remarks Devan Carter. “If the students were the vehicle, I would be the road. Hopefully I can shape you in a good path or the path that would make you the most successful in life.”

“I feel inspired by the professors in this program, and the people that I've met through the program,” adds Collins. “I feel more equipped, now more than ever, from the experiences that I've had at Warner to handle my own classroom.”

Watch the video. (University video / Matthew Mann)