Margaret Harris '11

During my time with TPP, I served both as a Teaching Assistant and as a TA Liaison for PUPP. Working with the PUPP scholars was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time as a Princeton undergraduate; I can still recall tearfully saying goodbye to the students at the end of the summer. Thankfully, through social media, I can still keep in contact with some of the scholars. I am so happy every time I hear of another college acceptance or accomplishment! Aside from the time I spent working with PUPP, my most memorable moments in Teacher Prep were the numerous times Dr. Klugman and the rest of the teaching staff would push us out of our comfort zone.  They would find that one aspect of teaching on which we most needed to improve and make us practice it…on each other. These were the most awkward, uncomfortable, foreign experiences, but they were truly “teachable” moments. I appreciate how the TPP staff consistently challenged me and pushed me to become a better teacher and learner. This is something that I’ve found to be largely missing from professional development in my own public school teaching experience.

After completing a ninth semester and graduating from TPP, I accepted a long-term substitute position as a high school English teacher in my home state, Virginia. I completed the requirements to transfer my certification from New Jersey to Virginia and accepted a full-time teaching position at Tabb High School the following year. I have taught at Tabb since January 2012, and I am now both teaching and pursuing my M. Ed. in Educational, Policy, Planning and Leadership through a partnership with my school division and the College of William and Mary. Although my TPP student teaching experience was in an urban district (Trenton), I now teach in a suburban environment. The challenges are different, but no less complex. Working with students on a daily basis keeps me motivated, along with the knowledge that I am gaining the experiences I need to effect positive change in the profession at large.

Currently, I teach eleventh grade English at Tabb High School in York County School Division. I am also a virtual instructor for students at high schools throughout the division. I sponsor the African American History Club, have served on the Teacher of the Year committee, and was recognized as an Instructional Leader. In 2012, I was selected to join a cohort of teachers who exhibit promise in school leadership to pursue administrative certification and received the Edward E. Brickell Leadership Partner Award from William & Mary’s School of Education. I will receive my M.Ed. in December 2014.