Meghan Sanchez ’15 will be both teacher and student this fall as she begins a residency at the Urban Teacher Center in Washington, D.C. Sanchez will work with an elementary teacher for one year before getting her own classroom to lead in her second year. The UTC program, which lasts for four years, will also award her a masters in elementary education after her second year.
Although it is now her passion, Sanchez, who majored in history, did not realize she loved teaching until she began an internship at a Montessori school in the center of Rome during her junior year abroad. “I realized that I loved working with young students, especially in the Montessori method of teaching,” she says.
Sanchez interned the following summer with Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps program in Washington, D.C. “This program allowed me to lead a group of AmeriCorps members in teaching daily lessons focused on preparing students for kindergarten,” she says. “We had songs, lessons, games, and activities focused on phonetic awareness and reading comprehension.”
She spent her senior year at Haverford taking education classes with Lecturers Heather Curl and Jody Cohen. Sanchez says that one particular class with the latter, “Schools in American Cities,” helped prepare her for the UTC program. “I learned about the importance of politics in education, multilingualism in the classroom, as well as several other factors affecting urban public or charter school in America,” she says.
Courses on education at Haverford and Bryn Mawr require students to travel to schools throughout the local area and assist teachers in the classroom. This is known as “Praxis placement.” “The Praxis placements inspired me to be a teacher in the classroom,” says Sanchez. “The teachers I have met during both of my placements were amazing role models for what I hope to be when I have my own class.”
—Jack Hasler ’15
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.