TEP Student Spotlight

Meet some of our amazing Teacher Education students! 

  • Ashley Cook

    Ashley Cook/ Cary, IL

    History Secondary Education- Class of 2022

    One of the things I like best about Illinois Wesleyan Educational Studies is the way that the classes and professors prepare teacher scholars to teach diverse students and advocate for social justice. I like that the department teaches us about how to best serve students of different backgrounds and strengths.

    I am passionate about teaching because it gives me the platform to teach young minds about the world and enable their strengths. As a teacher I can help students learn about history in an engaging way and help them learn how to be good humans.

  •  Student

    Becca Wagner / Normal, IL

    Elementary Education- Class of 2021

    The teachers truly care about your education, and push you to be your best. The classes prepare you for almost everything you will  see in a classroom. When working through situations in class, they equip us with every question and answer we could ever need to be successful.

    I love watching students grow into the best people that they can be inside and outside of the classroom!

  •  Student

    Cassandra Jones/ Elk Grove Village, IL

    English Literature Secondary Education- Class of 2022

    What I like best about Illinois Wesleyan Educational Studies is that the program is designed to get students experience early, often, and with foundations in mind. Every classroom experience is aided and guided by professors, course concepts, and cooperating teachers. In addition, the program values a variety of perspectives, experiences, and interests. As a student athlete, I appreciate that this program provides for me the ability to play lacrosse and study education without missing out on any time in or on the field.

    I want to teach so that I can pay forward the skills, opportunities, and support I received to every student that comes into my future classroom.

  • Connor Dewalt

    Connor Dewalt/ Ottawa, IL

    Music Education - Class of 2022

    Ed Studies at IWU has the advantage of being a tight-knit community of individuals. Professors are always ready to assist students preparing for the teaching field, and I always know that if I have a question, someone in the department will know the answer.

    My passion for teaching stems from my desire to share music with others. I found that teaching is the best way to achieve that goal.

  •  Student

    Danielle Huber/ Lombard, IL

    Elementary Education with an English Minor- Class of 2022

    Each and every one of the Educational Studies professors cares deeply about our individual success in the classroom. They are always there to support us and encourage us along the way. From helping us with any difficulties that we may face to celebrating our accomplishments with students, they are right by our side during our journey. The Educational Studies program at IWU makes me confident when looking forward to my future as an educator.

    I really enjoy helping children expand their knowledge in fun, creative ways that fit their individual interests and ways of learning. Seeing the growth that a student can accomplish, not just academically, from the beginning to the end of one year is so fulfilling, and I hope to make a meaningful impact on my future students' educational experiences.

  • Student

    Danielle Ponsot / Arlington Heights, IL

    English Secondary Education - Class of 2021

    My favorite part of Illinois Wesleyan's Educational Studies department is how focused it is on social justice. Having grown up in a good school district, I didn't know very much about schools with less resources, and IWU's Educational Studies department opened my eyes to the injustices and the problems that plague the school system. The way this department brings attention to these issues inspires me to want to make a difference. We have some very passionate teachers who hold us to a high standard, just as we should hold our future students to high standards. I have had influential field placement experiences since my first education class, and the teachers at Wesleyan are always available to help me become a better teacher..

    I like connecting with students and inspiring them to live inquisitive lives.

  • Daria Van De Loo/ Appleton, WI

    Music Education - Class of 2021

    One of the best parts of the Music Education program at IWU is that students get to spend time in K-12 classrooms, whether it be observing or teaching, starting their first semester of college. Hands-on experiences are highly valued, and I feel much more prepared for my future because of the first-hand experience I've gotten in classrooms.

    Teaching allows me to combine my love of music and my desire to help young people learn who they are by expressing themselves through music. By teaching, I hope to musically enrich people’s lives!

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    Erin Peck/Wheaton, IL

    Elementary Education - Class of 2022

    I love how all the professors genuinely care about helping us grow to become better people and teachers. They are always willing to help their students and never fail to take time out of their day just to help their students. I really appreciate their dedication to the Educational Studies program as well as their dedication to social justice!

    Teaching is my passion because it not only allows me to help kids learn but also helps me shape students into the better people. Additionally, It gives me the ability to offer an equal opportunity to learn for all students.

  • Student

    Grace McAvoy/ Geneseo, IL

    English Secondary Education, Minor in Theater Arts - Class of 2021

    I love Illinois Wesleyan’s Educational Studies department because they really allow for you to discover your identity as a future educator. The amount of creativity I have been allowed, when plotting lesson plans and figuring out how to be fully inclusive in the classroom, is so welcoming by any faculty member I’ve had the privilege working with in and outside of class.

    I want to teach because I know that I want to help future generations. One teacher can make a world of difference, and I hope to be that one for many future students.

  • Student

    Hannah Foley/ Elk Grove Village, IL

    Elementary Education - Class of 2021

    My favorite part about Illinois Wesleyan as a whole is the small class sizes. In the Educational Studies department especially, these class sizes lead to deeper and more meaningful relationships with peers and professors which allow for greater success in the field. Due to these small class sizes, the professors in the educational studies department have more time and resources to devote to all of their students and help them to be as successful as possible.

    Teaching is my passion because it allows me to help students and pass down my love for learning new things to others. I am also able to meet incredible children who open my eyes to different views of the world.

  • Student

    Jade Miller/ Chicago, IL

    Elementary Education - Class of 2022

    I love that the Illinois Wesleyan Educational Studies program is so supportive and caring. The teachers always make sure that the students are on track and receive all of the information and training needed to become a great teacher. I also love the size of this program: it's not too big or too small. It makes it easier to meet new people who are pursuing the same profession. It also gives the opportunity to have great relationships with the teachers. I appreciate the program for the unity it brings within the students and teachers in the program.

    Teaching is my passion because I want to give back to my community. In my community we don't have the best teachers or techniques for teaching students from low income housing. I want to help the students in my community to reach their full potential.

  • Student

    Jenna Mirande/ Peoria, IL

    Elementary Education - Class of 2022

    What I like best about being a part of IWU Educational Studies is how in almost every class you get field experience in the classroom. The small class size makes it easy to build relationships with peers and professors. The professors use their expertise and teaching experience to prepare you for becoming a teacher which is really helpful and meaningful.

    Teaching is my passion because you have the opportunity to make a difference. Teachers not only inspire and mentor students academically, but they also help build foundations and positively impact other parts of students' lives as well.

  • Katie O'Donnell

    Katie O'Donnell/ Gurnee, IL

    Elementary Education - Class of 2022

    Since I came in as a different major and switched to elementary education my journey has been a bit bumpier. Throughout my whole experience the Educational Studies department has supported and helped me so much. I am forever grateful that I have been able to join such an amazing group of people.

    My favorite thing about teaching is when you can see the moment in a student's eyes when they truly understand what you are teaching them. Being able to help students not only learn but also develop confidence and become the best versions of themselves is something I know I will always be passionate about.

  •  Leanna Horton

    Leanna Horton/ Philo, IL

    Music Education - Class of 2022

    I love that Illinois Wesleyan University gives me many opportunities to practice teaching with my peers before I go into a real classroom. The professors at IWU are very successful at forming their students into inspiring future educators because they bring their passion and professional experience into the classroom. The connections made with my professors and peers at Illinois Wesleyan University have given me unique experiences and confidence that I will grow to be the best teacher I can be.

    Teaching is how I can help our world become a better place by being a positive role model for students and inspiring them to reach for the stars. As a teacher I believe it is my job to believe in and motivate each one of my students because every person in the world deserves a cheerleader!

  •  Student

    Lindsay Ring/ Downs, IL

    Music Education - Class of 2021

     I really like the personal attention we get from our professors. In music, having one on one converstaions with all my teachers helped me feel very confident in teaching brass or elementary aged classes.

    When I was in kindergarten I wrote "teacher or florist" as what I wanted to be when I grow up, and I decided for the less paying career. I love music and I am excited to share that with student's of my own someday soon.

  •  Student

    Page Dickison/ Westfield, Indiana

    English Language Arts Secondary Education - Class of 2021

     I have never had a bad experience with an education professor here. They are always going out of theri way to make sure you understand what is expected of you and the steps necesary for success. All of the classes are informative and interesting. Standing up for social justice, and illustrating to us what it means, is something that is so important for our school system moving forward and everything about the department highlights how to strive for it.

    I had a very influential English teacher in high school and before her I never knew I was good at anything in school. I fell in love with it and I want to help kids learn they can be successful too.

  •  Student

    Rachel Laboda/ Rolling Meadows, IL

    Elementary Education- Class of 2022  

    Illinois Wesleyan provides an Educational Studies program focused on social justice. Being enrolled in this program has broadened my perspective on the issues that are present in the school system on an every day basis. I’ve created great, meaningful relationships with professors who care about my success in the future, and have learned so much about how I can make a difference in the school I choose to teach at and in the lives of my students.

    One thing I love about teaching is the idea that I can make a positive impact on my students. Helping students learn school content and material is important, but it is just as important to make all students feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged. I’ve learned a lot about how to make my lessons and activities beneficial to each and every student, based on their ability and interests. Creating these deep connections with my students will allow me to see the way they grow from the beginning of the year to the end. I can’t wait for my future as a teacher and am thankful to IWU for providing me with the unique Educational Studies program it offers!

  •  Student

    Rosie Lagone/ Mokena, IL

    English Language Arts Secondary Education- Class of 2021  

    It is a very close knit group of people who all look out for one another. The faculty do everything they can to ensure we get the most out of our experiences, field placements, and lessons. 

    I was greatly impacted by my teachers in high school and I wish to be that person for other students. I want to help people reach their full potential and succeed in whatever path they choose.

  •  Sarah Buchmann headshot

    Sarah Buchmann/Wilmette, IL

    English Secondary Education - Class of 2022

    I have always had great support from my professors in all of my areas of interest, even outside of the Ed Studies program! I feel recognized and wanted on campus by my professors and peers, and value the strength of those relationships.

    I love seeing a student's face light up when they finally get a concept we've been working on. It makes me so proud to see their achievements!

  •  Sarah Warner

    Sarah Warner/Itasca, IL

    Elementary Education - Class of 2022

    The professors are so amazing and really go above and beyond to help us out. I really enjoy going to my education classes and they get me excited for when I have a classroom of my own.

    When I was younger, I always loved going to school and I loved my teachers. I want to be that teacher for my students and be the reason why a child wants to learn and come to school.