After graduating from Princeton in 2013 and working in healthcare analytics consulting for a year and a half, I was ecstatic that TPP welcomed me back during the spring of 2015. Teaching four sections of college prep chemistry at a local, public high school provided me with the unique opportunity to hone individual lessons. My cohort of sophomores and juniors was highly energetic, and they pushed me to be the best instructor that I could be. I especially remember our lessons on chemistry in careers during my original unit plan.
Beyond The Classroom
After graduating from Princeton with a degree in Economics and certificates from Teacher Preparation and Environmental Studies, Réka taught Math, English, Literature, Science and Arts for 3-11th graders in Sri Lanka for a summer.
She is currently pursuing the Economics PhD program at Stanford University with the goal to learn more and do research about the role education systems and other factors play in reducing inequality within and across countries.
Immediately after graduating from TPP I worked as a substitute teacher at the Bayonne Board of Education. That fall I started work as a Biology Teacher in North Bergen with Hudson County Schools of Technology. I taught there from September 2011-June 2013 before resigning so I could move to North Carolina since my husband received orders to be stationed at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division. When his unit deployed I returned to New Jersey and taught Chemistry as a permanent substitute.
I was an East Asian Studies (Chinese) major at Princeton, class of 1973 , with education (TPP) as my minor field of study. My career aspirations and interests included education as well as journalism and communications. My teaching certification was in social studies as well as Chinese language. I was the first teacher of Chinese to be certified in the State of New Jersey.
After graduating from the Teacher Preparation Program in 2001, I worked as an affiliated artist in a nonprofit storytelling organization founded by Princeton alumna, Susan Danoff. Through TPP, I attended several of Susan's teacher workshops, which were held on Princeton campus, and I became her intern. When I did my practice teaching in the 5th grade in the Montgomery School district, I designed a storytelling unit for the students. In their evaluations, many of them said that this had been the best part of my teaching because I so clearly loved what I was doing.
Since graduating from TPP in the Fall of 2006, I have continued to work in schools in various capacities, mostly in student support, operations and leadership roles.
I am working in an Education Technology Startup in Portland, Oregon in "Corporate and Product Strategy." But as in any start-up, my role has been flexible to my particular interests. 20% of the time I am attempting to spearhead a research program through grant money so that we can initiate research on how to effectively store, manage, and interpret data about a school, district, and student in a fashion that will be the most meaningful for teachers and administrators.
I was offered a job in March of my senior year, 1977, to teach at Escuela Campo Alegre , an independent American School in Caracas, Venezuela. I flew to Venezuela that August. I taught 8th and 9th grade science and still think it was the most fun I ever had that generated a paycheck. Less than half the students were American citizens, and even most of the "American' kids had never lived in the USA. My students spoke English in class with me, Spanish with their pals, then French or Swedish or Dutch at home.
I returned to Princeton in 2008 to do Teacher Prep after working in residence life at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. The investment in my future as an educator quickly paid off – I was hired as a history teacher in the upper school at Gill St. Bernard’s School in New Jersey in 2009 not long before completing my certification. The experience called upon all of my skills as a social studies teacher and then some, as I was assigned five preps my first year, teaching courses ranging from AP U.S.
Upon graduation from TPP in 2005, I began teaching in the Montgomery Township School District as a 7th grade science teacher. Four years of study in Princeton’s neuroscience and psychology departments served me well, and I quickly earned a reputation as the “Brain Expert” among the students and faculty. For two years I taught young scientists on topics ranging from neurons to biomes. By 2007 I was ready for my next adventure. The draw of graduate school competed with the allure of becoming a world traveler, so I decided to do both simultaneously. I completed a master of science after o