Background: I was born and bred in the heart of South Carolina in the town of Sumter. I grew up on the outskirts of town in my family’s farmhouse. I have always had a heart for the outdoors and developed a love for plants through my high school AP Biology class. I graduated from Clemson University in 2013 with B.S. in Horticulture. That summer I taught summer school for middle grades math and science. I went on to teach a class of three-year-old preschool at my church for one year. I then pursued admission to Clemson’s MAT program while working at a boutique in Columbia, the Pink Sorbet.
Why I want to teach: Growing up I spent more afternoons than I could count in my mother’s classroom being put to work helping carry out preparations for the following days. I thought I had sworn off teaching and those late afternoons of tiring, thankless work I often see my mother assume without the slightest complaint. But God had a very different plan for me than I had for myself. I tried to do things my way and was met with hurdle after hurdle when pursuing the career I had chosen for myself. Realizing my way wasn’t working out, I moved back home after I graduated from Clemson. In need of a job, I took an opportunity to teach a few sessions of summer school at my high school. What I thought would be a seemingly painless way to earn a little extra money, was actually the Lord opening my eyes to the path He had intended for me all along. It was in that unassuming summer that I discovered the passion I have for teaching.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: My most memorable teaching moment comes from the three-year-old preschool class I taught the year following my Clemson graduation. We were wrapping up the school year, with only a few days left in the week. One of my students was having a rough morning and wasn’t happy about staying at school. Long story short, I received a red and purple, full set of teeth marks on my forearm for a week. I’m not one to be rendered speechless, but I was completely dumbfounded. With quick prayer, I maintained composure and calamity, and it was in that testing moment I knew I could handle anything the classroom had to throw at me.
Goals and Aspirations: At this point, my goal is to continue working through Clemson’s MAT program while learning and growing to become the best teacher I can be. From there, I never want to stop learning or improving how to better myself, my skills, and my teaching.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: Although I do not have an abundance of experience to draw advice from, the one truth I have discovered is that teaching is not a job, it’s a calling. Teaching cannot be successful unless it is approached with love, devotion, and passion.
What the TigersTeach program means to me: The TigersTeach program is an incredible program that I am so thankful to be a part of. TigersTeach is enabling me this wonderful opportunity to switch career paths, pursue my true calling, and to meet some truly amazing people.
Background: I am from Summerville, SC, aka Flowertown, known for its beautiful azalea’s and the birthplace of Sweet Tea. I spent the last four years at Clemson University studying Animal and Veterinary Sciences. It did not take long for me to recognize that my true calling was in teaching rather than in veterinary medicine; however, I chose to complete this Bachelor’s of Science degree because it has a competitive curriculum and some of the coolest classes at Clemson – who doesn’t want to raise a pig for a whole semester?! In addition to the many hours spent working on farms and in veterinary offices, I have dedicated a substantial amount of time to tutoring Adult Education students in the Charleston and Clemson areas.
Why I want to teach: One of the most frustrating courses I have ever taken is Contemporary Issues in Animal and Veterinary Sciences. The professor of this course challenged his students day in and day out to become profound critical thinkers by allowing us to navigate controversial topics and to debate ideas with each other. Although this class brought many students to tears, myself included, it made us stronger thinkers and confident scientists. Having successfully survived this course, I can now look back and appreciate all that Dr. Skewes was trying to do for his students. I realize that challenging your students and watching them struggle is not an easy task; however, the reward of watching them grow as critical thinkers is amazing in itself. I am passionate about all subjects, and in particular sciences. Because science is an ever-changing field, I believe it is a great opportunity to allow students to grow and think critically. I want to teach because I want to make a difference in the younger generations; but most importantly, I want to teach because I love learning and I believe my students will teach me as much as I can teach them.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: Working with high-risk youth in the Adult Education department in Charleston County was a humbling experience. It was amazing to see students of such diverse backgrounds come together and work towards a common goal in order to improve themselves and their education. Working with these students reaffirmed my love for education.
Goals and Aspirations: As a student in the MAT program at Clemson I hope to learn as much as possible about effective teaching methods and classroom management, and be able to meaningfully translate this information into the classroom. As a teacher, I want to make the content I am teaching meaningful, relatable, and enjoyable for students so that they will be inspired to become scientists in any field they choose. Ultimately, I want students to walk away from my classroom as critical thinkers, ready to take on any challenge.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: Relax and have fun! Being responsible for another person’s education can seem like a very daunting task. However, one of the reasons I love this career field is that it allows teachers to get in tune with their creative side. Figuring out a way to meaningfully connect an abstract idea to the real world encourages creativity and learning; that’s one of the great things about being a teacher – you never stop being a student!
What the TigersTeach program means to me: This program not only has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming the best possible teacher I can be, it also encourages and supports me by being part of a competitive group of peers to work towards a common goal. I feel blessed to be part of a program that has made the transition from Animal and Veterinary Sciences possible. The staff is incredibly supportive and encouraging, which makes being part of a Master’s program less intimidating. Overall, it’s an indescribable feeling to be part of such a competitive and successful program!
Background: I am from Greenwood, SC. I started a dual degree program at Lander University in Math and Engineering with plans of transferring to Clemson. I became interested in Architecture and when I transferred to Clemson I found it was not for me so I completed my undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Clemson University in summer of 2014. I always wanted to be a teacher, but because of others saying I would never get a job or make any money that swayed my decisions. I got reintroduced to teaching when I had the opportunity to volunteer for a 4K/5K program. It amazed me how much the 3-5 year olds could do with math. That's when I knew teaching was really for me. I then became a substitute teacher last year and decided the Middle and High School levels were best for me.
Why I want to teach: I want to help students learn to love math. I want to instill in the future generation critical thinking skills. I believe that the more confident a student is in his or her ability the further they will excel. I think that solving math problems and coming up with solutions are great ways to build that confidence in students.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: I helped with the Emerging Scholars program at Clemson this past summer and I really didn't know what to expect. They had mathematical task they had to complete, for one particular task, I was completely taken by surprise at how many different solutions the students found to the particular problem. It was at that moment that I really began to understand how important it is to really reach as many ways of teaching for certain concept as possible.
Goals and Aspirations: My goal as a teacher is to have my students feel like they can succeed at math and anything they put their mind to. It is to make sure that no matter. I want to be that teacher that makes math feel relevant and not scary. I want to be the teacher that shows the students that a challenge makes them stronger.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: I think my best advice is to always being willing to further yourself as a teacher. If you stop learning so will your students. Take the students’ perspectives into account because you are not only teaching them, but they are teaching you also.
What the TigersTeach program means to me: The TigersTeach program means support. Not just support financially, but also support for my future teaching career. I have already learned so much and I am only a semester into the program. It means that I am not alone in wanting what is best for future students.
Background: A Greenville, SC native, I graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson. I have volunteered with middle and high school students for many years and shortly after graduation I realized that my heart was in teaching and I applied for the Secondary MAT program at Clemson.
Why I want to teach: I have always enjoyed spending time working with young people by mentoring them, and I always planned to be an active volunteer once I started my career in mechanical engineering. I enjoyed how engineering let me use the math and science that I had learned over the years and apply it to real-world problems. By my senior year of college I realized that my heart just wasn’t in engineering the way it was in youth work, but that I could use my skills and passions to reach young people as a math and science teacher. I believe my engineering background will allow me to help students see the real-world applications for the material they learn in class and to see its value.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: During an internship the summer after my freshman year in college, I had the opportunity to work with and mentor a student who had recently gone through a traumatic experience in his life. Over the course of the summer I watched this student slowly come out of his shell and start smiling again and that was just awesome to me. At the end of his summer his parents pulled me aside and said he talked about me all the time and that he hadn’t had this much energy and life in him for nearly a year. Working with this student and then talking with his parents is an experience I will never forget.
Goals and Aspirations: My goal as a teacher is first and foremost to reach out to students and to be a positive role model who pushes them to succeed. I also want to open their eyes to the wonders of math and science and help them appreciate and understand why math and science are important to their lives. One day I would like to continue my education and reach a point where I am able to participate in the preservice training of the next generations of teachers.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession:This job is so much more than just teaching content. As high school teachers we have the privilege of acting as role models and inspiring the future generation to love learning and to pursue success. This is a big job and isn’t easy, but it is totally worth it!
What the TigersTeach program means to me: South Carolina offers multiple methods for alternative certification, but I felt that the Secondary MAT program at Clemson was the best option for me. TigersTeach has made it possible for me to take a year and pursue my goal of becoming a teacher full time so that when I am in the classroom I will be the best teacher I can be.
Background: I am from Belton, SC and I have been a Clemson fan my entire life. When it came to picking a college Clemson was an easy choice. I initially wanted to go to dental school like my dad but I started to realize that I wanted to do something else with my life. I knew I liked biology and I knew I liked nature so I started studying Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and received my bachelor’s degree in 2013. After a year of working outside my degree I knew I had to get back into science and that is when I found the Clemson Secondary MAT program.
Why I want to teach: I have always put myself around helping students whether it be at my church’s youth group or with a program called The Outdoor Dream Foundation where we take students with sever and potentially terminal illnesses out on once in a lifetime opportunity hunting of fishing trips. This program helped me see what a huge impact I could have on a child’s life and I knew that I wanted to continue to make a difference in students’ lives for as long as I possibly could and what better way to do that than to teach them about a passion of my own! While I was in high school I was a bright but un-motivated student. I made good grades without studying so why should I spend my valuable time studying? This became a problem when I got to college because I had no study skills. I decided then that I did not want anyone else to have the same problem I did. I want to make an impact on the students in my class so that they learn the importance of understanding the subject and not just memorizing for the test like I did.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: While I was studying my undergrad I was a TA for one on my favorite professors, Dr. Lance Beecher. During this time I got my first experience of being an actual teacher. I helped plan and set up labs and see all the behind the scenes work that was involved in preparing a lesson and as nerdy as it may sound I really enjoyed that work. This was the first time I really considered becoming a teacher myself and really got to thinking about how great it would be to actually enjoy what I was doing for a living.
Goals and Aspirations: My goal is to become the greatest teacher of all time! However, if I do not quite make it to that goal I would also really like to be the teacher that students remember when they think about high school. I hope I can motivate my students to try their best at not only science but at everything they do in life.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession:I would tell anyone who thinks they want to be a teacher that the type of teacher they are is completely up to them. It is very easy to be an average un-memorable teacher who simply presents information to their students and then goes home and does not think about it again. To be a great teacher takes time and effort and a student can definitely tell the difference between an average teacher and a great teacher.
What the TigersTeach program means to me: The TigersTeach program is an amazing program that I have gotten to be a part of. This program has given me the ability to change my life and get me on the path to becoming a teacher very easily. I am also excited that this program gives me classes that I will actually use what I am learning in my classroom.
Background: I graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Biochemistry in 2013. While in school, I taught eight semesters of supplemental instruction for biology and chemistry. Following graduation, I completed a three month biochemistry post-bacc research fellowship with CofC. I then went on to do cancer genomics research at the Medical University of South Carolina. After this experience, I completed one more semester of college, then returned home and started a residential construction company.
Why I want to teach: Teaching is a part of who I am. I gain a tremendous amount of fulfillment from inspiring others to improve their lives and teaching other people interesting or useful information and skills. While in college, I taught SI classes and worked as a personal trainer. These experiences helped me realize my passion for teaching. I knew I wanted to work with children after volunteering with the MUSC Kid's Heart Health Program, in which we worked to teach overweight children from low income neighborhoods how to eat healthier, play harder, and workout smarter. I also want to teach in memory of my grandmother, Pat Moore, who was an amazing and influential science teacher in SC for her entire life. I believe that an adequate knowledge of science is important and an ever increasing necessity within our democratic society as we continue to advance, therefore it is my hope over my career to improve science education as to help give way to a brighter future for us all.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: Teaching for the SI program, I was fortunate to be exposed to some of the newest research-based methods and theories being implemented in education. I had a total of nine opportunities to get to observe different professors teaching the same material that I had learned my freshman year as I sat in their classes and observed, taking notes so that I could mold my lesson plans to take their material more in-depth in my sessions. These extensive and numerous observations allowed me to compare and contrast different styles. I drew on this knowledge and my training as to determine the best ways to lead my own sessions and experienced dramatic success. My sessions netted some of the largest attendances in the program and correlated with significant increases in academic performance for the students that regularly attended. My supervisors saw my passion for teaching and promoted me to peer mentor, which allowed me to observe and analyze other SI leaders to help them improve their strategies and allowed me to be the first ever summer session SI leader.
Goals and Aspirations: I would love to be involved in the community and really have an impact on science education on a far-reaching level. I also really want to be involved with my students, developing strong connections and inspiring them to reach for success in their lives, science or otherwise. We will see where my career takes me, but currently my plan is to finish the MAT program, teach in South Carolina for a while and possibly pursue a PhD. I want to start a non-profit or at least become very involved in one that would help provide tools, training and funding for science teachers in the area. I would also like to see a volunteer program similar to the MUSC Kid's Heart Health Program be started in upstate SC. Ultimately, I'd like to be involved in some of the exciting new schools being developed for STEM students focused on discovery-based approaches.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: Get some experience teaching at the college level as an SI leader or peer tutor. Determine if teaching is something you enjoy doing. Be enthusiastic, open-minded, compassionate and hard-working.
What the TigersTeach program means to me: The Tigers Teach Program is perfect for me! It has allowed me to stay close to home and live in the beautiful city of Greenville while being able to pursue my teaching license at an accelerated pace. The scholarship helped make the program a more viable option for me as I considered the different routes to becoming a teacher in light of my undergraduate debt. I particularly appreciate the opportunities provided by the program for professional development outside of the classroom.
Lindsey Rega (Second Year TigersTeach Scholar)
Background: I am a senior from Blythewood, South Carolina. I have always loved working with children as a tutor, coach, and camp counselor. I was working as a TigersTeach intern when I decided to pursue a degree in education.
Why I want to teach: I want to work with students in order to help build them up for success, in the classroom and long term. Working as a teacher also allows me to be a lifetime learner. Science has always been one of my passions and I hope to create the same excitement in my classroom.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: My most memorable teaching experiences were when I was able to clearly see student progress. Seeing a student’s ‘a-ha’ moment can be the most rewarding!
Goals and Aspirations: I hope to get students more excited about STEM fields and work with students towards becoming lifelong learners. I also plan to earn a Masters in Education and AP Board Certification.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: The best teachers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, so you should consider education! You can make a difference for so many students while working in a fun and rewarding field.
What the TigersTeach program means to me: The TigersTeach program is an opportunity for me to grow as an educator before I ever step into my own classroom. I have had invaluable resources and experiences through this program that will help me be the best for my students.
Background: I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a minor in mathematics from Clemson University in May, 2014. I researched the nano-structure of highly efficient thermoelectric materials for my thesis. I then went on to work as a full-time tutor at GREEN Charter School in Greenville where I discovered my passion for teaching.
Why I want to teach: In my educational path I have come across a handful of science teachers that made the world around me come to life. I hope to enrich the lives of my students by guiding them through a journey to understand their universe.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: I recall one day as I taught a group of middle school students a problem we encountered. We were to calculate the amount of time it would take for sound to reach us after dropping an object into a canyon. In pure excitement and enthusiasm I quickly jumped on top of nearest empty desk and dropped my pen as a means to replicate our problem in the classroom. We had a great deal of fun.
Goals and Aspirations: For now I am trying to keep it simple. I want to develop my skills as an effective instructor. I want to devour all the information I can and seek every opportunity to practice so that I may adequately teach my students how awesome it is to science.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: Consider first how well you set priorities. Teaching as a career is a wonderful challenge and there are some tough judgment calls to make when it comes to time management. There are only so many hours in a day so try to make the most of them!
What the TigersTeach program means to me: As an immigrant it has at times been difficult to meet the financial challenges of advanced education. I am fortunate and thankful to have earned this scholarship. This program has afforded me the opportunity to learn the art and science of teaching.
Background: I grew up in Chesapeake, VA and was a fanatic for the beach. However, I traded in the beach for the lake at Clemson University. I am currently a mathematics and secondary education double major.
Why I want to teach: During my senior year in AP calculus, my teacher had such a positive impact on my outlook of mathematics. It was then that I became interested in teaching. I started tutoring my senior year of high school and have continued tutoring while I am at Clemson. Seeing students understand the challenges they once had with math is very moving. I tutor a variety of math students and really enjoy the moment when it all makes sense to them. I have realized that I want to pursue a career where I can share my passion and help others succeed.
Memorable teaching and learning experiences: During the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to teach a couple of classes to rising seniors. I went into the classroom without knowing what to expect. This was the first time I taught a full class. Once the class began, I was pleasantly surprised to see how engaged they were with learning. I was able to express concepts in a way that these students could understand. I felt that I could make a genuine difference in their learning experience.
Goals and aspirations: I am working towards becoming a high school mathematics teacher. I hope to be very inspirational with teaching algebra and calculus.
Advice for those entering the teaching profession: If you are considering teaching, choose the subject you are passionate about and try tutoring first. Get involved with your subject area and see if you enjoy it.
What the TigersTeach program means to me: The TigersTeach program has given me the opportunity to pursue my goals with education. I am so thankful to be given this chance to have access to different resources and programs that will help me become the best teacher I can be.