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From Student to Teacher: Growth through Drexel’s School of Education

Grace Kirby, BS in Teacher Education

April 16, 2024

Over the past two years, I have had the incredible experience of getting to work with the students and staff of Science Leadership Academy high school in Center City Philadelphia. The individuals I have been lucky enough to teach during this experience have inspired me, given me hope for the future, and made me laugh more than I could explain. I will forever be grateful to Drexel for giving me an experience I do not believe could have been matched anywhere else.

In my third year at Drexel, I was lucky enough to be placed at Science Leadership Academy to participate in my six-month co-op. I was also lucky enough to receive an award through Drexel which allowed this experience to be full-time and paid. This allowed me six months of full-time work experience in the classroom from September until March! I spent my time during co-op gaining confidence in planning, grading, and working with individual students on a day-to-day basis to teach them the skills necessary in developing healthy academic habits. I was paired with an amazing mentor and teacher, Mr. Matthew Kay, who welcomed me with open arms and demonstrated teaching practices that students love, and I will never forget.

I am now back at Science Leadership Academy for another six months of student teaching in my senior year. My amazing advisors in Drexel’s School of Education were able to communicate with the principal of Science Leadership Academy, Mr. Lehman, to orchestrate my return to the school this year. I am extremely grateful to both parties for this. My student teaching experience has been nothing less than transformative. I was placed with a new teacher for my second year, Ms. Larissa Pahomov, a veteran teacher who is a master of her craft and one of the most brilliant women I have ever met. Because of this change, I was able to follow almost half of my students into their sophomore year! It is an extremely rewarding experience being able to develop my relationships with these students over time and watching them grow in their academic abilities. I am extremely proud of them for their progress, and deeply grateful to them for aiding me in my process. Thanks to all the amazing people surrounding me and offering their support daily, both in Drexel and in Science Leadership Academy, I feel I have developed my abilities as a teacher greatly since I first stepped foot in my co-op almost two years ago.

Drexel’s School of Education has provided me with an opportunity I will never forget. I will always hold this experience close to my heart. I have gained confidence and feel that I do not need to be fearful walking into my own first classroom. As thrilled as I am to move into the next chapter of my life, I am hoping my current experience never ends!

Grace Kirby
Class of 2024
Blackwood, NJ
Teacher Education, English certification