As a member of the College of Education at Seton Hall University for the entirety of my higher education career, generally there is some skepticism as to why I would stay in one place for such a significant amount of time. My counter to that is that I have been given a profound opportunity to complete high quality graduate work in both my Masters and Ph.D. programs, while simultaneously helping to prepare our future teachers. Having worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Educational Studies department at SHU, particularly more recently in the Office of Field Placement, I am immersed in an environment that puts pedagogy, reflective practice and the science of teaching at the forefront. Placing interns and student teachers into surrounding communities, as well as serving as a substitute teacher myself allows me to view the complete spectrum of instructional practice K-16, and I relish all opportunities to improve myself as a learner and instructor.
My teaching experience spans across a number of years and settings. My formal training was in Secondary Education, with a concentration in History which is still my first love. As a manager of the Seton Hall University baseball team, I aided in the athletic and academic support of student athletes, primarily in improving writing skills that are necessary for high quality academic work. That particular point in my life marked a time of great transition. Initially, my plan was to play baseball at Seton Hall, but an unfortunate injury to my throwing wrist put the athletic aspirations on hold and allowed me to fully explore my academic potential. I try to emphasize how important going through that adversity was to students of all ages, because you will not reach your fullest potential until challenges are presented and overcome.
Understanding the unique learning styles of individuals, coupled with tending to their hectic schedule during the season gave me a set of skills applicable to all ages. My current role in the College of Education furthers my ability to work with students who are currently working toward their degree in Elementary or Secondary Education and their preparation for classroom practice and successful completion of their PRAXIS II (Certification) exam. Given the current climate of high stakes testing and emphasis on teacher quality, standards for passing these exams have been raised to reflect these new demands, presenting challenges to students/faculty members and administrators. I believe my best quality is having a feel for a student's greatest strength, and leveraging that unique talent to improve upon areas that may not be as strong.
More formally, my Student Teaching experience at West Orange High School in West Orange, NJ in 2009 allowed me the opportunity to work in a culturally diverse school, employing techniques learned in the classroom in a new setting. Having taught US History II, Honors US II and AP US History in this course, relaying the passion for a sound historical perspective was often a challenge. Teaching basic facts was not my goal from the onset, but rather to give students the practical use of history in many disciplines.
My fianc' is also a teacher, specifically 4th Grade Special Education. Her experiences, anecdotes and obstacles everyday reflect how rewarding our profession can be. As stated before, seeing the complete cycle from when children are gaining their love of learning through their higher education experiences as adults is perhaps my greatest asset as a potential tutor. A strategy that works one day, for one student may not be as easily implemented the next with a different student. That is part of the challenge and reward of teaching/tutoring, building the knowledge and experiential base to take these challenges in stride with an eye toward continuous improvement.
Undergraduate Degree: Seton Hall University - Bachelor of Science, Secondary Education
Graduate Degree: Seton Hall University - Masters, MA: Instructional Design and Technology/ Ph.D.: Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy
State Certified Teacher
Cooking, Coaching Baseball, Reading