Amanda Santucci '08Kindergarten Teacher, Teach for America
I am a 2008 Teach For America (TFA) corps member in North Carolina. As a corps, we believe that every child deserves the right to an excellent education, and our goal is to eliminate educational inequity.
I taught second grade last year, and this year I teach 24 kindergarteners from one of the most disadvantaged areas of the city. Most students in disadvantaged areas face challenging situations outside of school that take tolls on their performance in school, but I believe that my students can achieve despite their circumstances. My students work relentlessly toward achieving more than what is expected.
Another aspect of my job is to build and maintain good relationships with faculty and parents. I am constantly improving my effectiveness as a teacher through monthly Teach For America conferences and working closely with my program director.
Applying My Communication Major
I minored in Education at Stonehill, but I find that I use my Communication degree more frequently in my experience with this program.
With TFA, you undergo intense training the summer before your first year; its core idea is teaching as leadership. I was stunned by how much material they were teaching that was already familiar to me from my Communication classes at Stonehill, such as interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, intercultural communication, persuasion techniques and strategies, leadership and communication, and media effects on children and the population in general. Not only do the theories help, so does class experience.
Advice to Communication Majors
As for my advice to students, just to soak up all that you can while you're are Stonehill, because everything you learn as a Communication major can be used in any career path you choose. In addition, as Communication majors we are expected to be comfortable with public speaking and presenting ideas. These are skills many people look for when hiring new employees.