Learning by doing

UChicago Careers in Education Professions gets College students out of the classroom and into … the classroom.

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In 2012 Career Advancement launched its newest career preparation program: UChicago Careers in Education Professions. Education Professions—open to undergrads in all academic disciplines—helps prepare students for careers in teaching, administration, research, and policy.

To apply to the selective program, students submit an essay and a résumé and have a personal interview with Nahida Teliani, AM’12, the Lewis-Sebring director. 

The program includes monthly speaker workshops, a lunch discussion series, and three local treks per quarter—mostly visits to local schools. In September the group will make its first international trek: a trip to Finland, where the public school system has earned world renown.

As well as attending events, Education Professions students must perform 20 hours of direct service per quarter, though “most of the students were already doing this,” says Teliani. Students can do their direct service by joining one of the many education clubs on campus, such as ArtShould, Comer Tutors (at Comer Children’s Hospital), Moneythink (financial education for high school students), and On a Mission for Nutrition. Others intern at University outreach programs like UChicago Promise, a college admissions program that helps local high school students apply to college. 

Work outside the classroom also counts. Michael Rosenbaum, ’15, serves as a research assistant at the Urban Education Lab, analyzing data on the Becoming a Man violence prevention program; he also interns with Illinois state representative Rita Mayfield’s office, where he focuses on education policy research.

 


Jasmine Bath, AB’14, manager of the Laboratory Schools’ after-school swim program, gives her students a break by tossing rings for them to fetch. “The hardest thing about teaching swimming to young children is muscle memory and knowing where your limbs are,” she says. “It takes a lot of practice.” Last year Bath was the director of ArtShould, which involved organizing more than 70 UChicago volunteers at five local elementary schools. She plans to attend graduate school next year in elementary education. (Photography by John Zich)

 


Safiya Johnson, AB’14 (in green), listens as King Que reads his poem “Don’t Define Me” at Robust Coffee Lounge on 63rd Street. Johnson, president of Performing Arts for Effective Civic Education (PAECE, pronounced “pace”), emceed the event, which featured 18 performers from the UChicago Charter School Woodlawn Campus (UCW) and UChicago. Johnson and other PAECE mentors teach after-school poetry workshops at UCW twice a week. (Photography by John Zich)

 


Daphne Chen, ’15, draws with a student in the after-school program ArtShould at Ray Elementary. One thing she’s learned from elementary school students: “They wholeheartedly plunge themselves in various projects, even when they’re unsure of what they’re doing,” she says. “It’s oddly inspirational.” (Photography by Tom Tian, AB’10)

 


John Lim, AB’14, observes a session of the Chicago Hyde Park Model United Nations Conference (CHPMUNC, pronounced “chipmunk”), an outreach program of Model United Nations at the University of Chicago. Lim, a member of PhiNix Dance Crew, also teaches hip-hop dancing at Kozminski Elementary in Hyde Park. Teaching dance is far easier than teaching Model UN, he says: “I don’t have to worry about my students running around and moving during class, because that’s what they’re supposed to do.” Next year Lim will teach middle school math in Chicago as a Teach for America volunteer. (Photography by Tom Tian, AB’10)

 


Matthew Collins, ’15, a volunteer with the national organization Citizens Schools, helps design the curriculum for “Running for Office” at the C-Shop. The ten-week course, which he coteaches at UChicago Charter Carter G. Woodson elementary campus in Bronzeville, culminates in a student convention, he says, “much like a Republican or Democratic National Convention.” (Photography by Megan E. Doherty, AM’05, PhD’10

 


Bowen Yang, AB’14, an intern with the Admissions Office program UChicago Promise, talks with a Hyde Park Academy student about applying to college. Working with local students “requires a shift in mind-set,” he says, “to not impose our knowledge or values onto our mentees. Seeing and understanding how our mentees pick their colleges and majors helps me put my life in perspective. It’s not about the 4.0s or the high-paying jobs, but doing what you’re interested in.” (Photography by Tom Tian, AB’10)

 


Ella Brown, ’15, mixes chocolate-chip cookie dough with students in the Laboratory Schools’ Extended Day program. Because cooking is so popular, “we usually make multiple batches, which can be a logistical nightmare,” she says. The most perplexing question Brown has ever been asked while teaching: “‘Who invented love?’” Brown’s answer: “I told her that she could probably write a BA paper on that topic.” (Photography by John Zich)

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