David Luo '18

TPP provided a research-based backing to any beliefs about teaching that I would develop over the course of the program and helped me solidify my own "teaching philosophy."
David Luo '18

I was a 2018 Computer Science major. TPP's reading and writing provided me with a counterbalance to the problem sets and projects that COS demanded. I really loved our Teacher Prep seminar discussions in class, too, since students took ownership of the topics. I didn't always have strong feelings about the week's material, but someone else always did, and they'd open my eyes to perspectives I hadn't considered before. Visiting schools was also super fun, both as a break from the orange bubble and as a way to reconnect with the outside world. The school visits put my personal experiences with education into perspective. TPP provided a research-based backing to any beliefs about teaching that I would develop over the course of the program, and helped me solidify my own "teaching philosophy," and articulate my beliefs while recognizing the value of research in the field.

I went into math teaching at an Independent School immediately after finishing my teaching certificate and license, in the fall of 2018. The school I work at has a strong sense of community. Everyone relies on and supports each other, which makes for a wonderful environment.

The feeling of finally having my own classroom is also incredible, and I now have an opportunity to put my ideas fully into practice. I've come to appreciate my co-workers a great deal—interacting with other teachers isn't something that is covered in TPP or frequently researched, but it's a huge part of my experience and day-to-day life now.  I'm waist-deep into my second year during the COVID-19 pandemic (fall 2020). I've definitely run into feelings of exhaustion and burnout already, which highlights the importance of making time for myself and knowing where to set work boundaries.

Consider your options as a teacher. Take time to look at what sorts of jobs are available, and take into account the neighborhoods, the pay, and the types of schools out there. This is a special sort of career, and many of the ways that distinguish it are challenging.