Eli Ayala, '18, Golder College Prep, Teacher
I currently teach 9th grade English 1. My class is focused on building students' writing skills and stamina. We focus on the four main types of writing, as well as helping students master tricky grammar rules.
Being an education major at Illinois Wesleyan has pushed me to question many common practices and decisions that I have to make as a teacher. I am better able to view my students holistically, and I always try my best to be as socially just as possible. This means constantly reevaluating how I'm doing things and continuing to learn about best practices.
My advice to current students at IWU is to try to make your student-teaching space your own. You should show up everyday as if that is your school, not a space you're borrowing for a semester. This is the time to learn what your teaching style is. You can't do so by allowing yourself to hide in the shadows.
My favorite memories from IWU always stem from my time in Gulick my freshman year. Living in Gulick gave my friend group a shared experience that we can always look back on as something we survived given all the antics that happened there.