Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Julianne Albano ’13

Eye on the prize: When I first came to Wheaton, I knew exactly which career path I wanted to follow. Pursuing an education license has been challenging, but it has taught me to work hard for the things you really want in life. The professors in the Education Department and the fieldwork experience I’ve engaged in have taught me so much about the profession, and I feel very prepared for my first teaching job.

Real-world exploration: I’m student teaching in a 4th grade classroom at Henri A. Yelle Elementary School in Norton, Mass., and it has made this semester the most rewarding and exciting one I’ve had at Wheaton. I’m currently in my full takeover of teaching all subjects during the week, and I’m beginning to find my stride while applying all my skills. The true highlight of this experience has been witnessing the students “light up” about what they’re learning.

Primary perspectives: My psychology studies have allowed me to gain insight into child development, which has helped me to better understand the population I work with and how to best address their needs.

Growth through change: Unlocking Potential, an education nonprofit organization, has started two middle schools, and the Dorchester, Mass. academy is its first elementary school. My position as a Founding Resident Teacher in Dorchester will give me the opportunity to live my dream. The Academy has so much to offer in a vastly underperforming school district, and as this will be my first time teaching in a turnaround school, I expect it will be a challenging, rewarding, and enormous learning experience.

Global lessons: I had two internships in Chiang Mai during my semester abroad in Thailand. The first was teaching English to special needs students at the Kawila Anukul School and the second was working with H.I.V.-affected children at Grandma Cares Partnership Program. At each placement, I was put into classrooms with little or no explanation from the teachers about the students and became the primary English teacher. I quickly learned how to think on my feet and how to differentiate instruction for all kinds of students.

By Adara Meyers ’08