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Sarah Vitelli M.A. '13

April 1, 2014 By Sarah Vitelli

Sarah Vitelli M.A. '13

My interest in science is one that goes back to when I was very young; making up “experiments” in my kitchen.

Sharing that passion was also something I found joy in, as I always appreciated talking and sharing ideas relating to the world of science. However, it was not until my junior year in college that I considered combining my love for science with interacting and helping others into a career in teaching. I was familiar with the University of New Haven’s Education Program and was excited to apply and hopefully begin upon graduating from the University of Connecticut. I was so happy when I found out that I had been accepted and looked forward to beginning my new journey in education; however, there was a lot to learn before I was able to run my own classroom.

Gaining Experience

The University of New Haven’s Graduate Education Program helped me every step of the way and with all the various aspects of teaching. Through my internship placement, I was able to gain an understanding of the day-by-day routines of a school and classroom environment over the course of a full academic school year. And I gained such a strong support system from all of the teachers and faculty I worked with, in addition to gaining long-lasting friendships. In the evenings, I learned the strategies and practices I was able to utilize in the classroom during the day through my various education classes. And in addition to gaining a support system at my internship, I also gained a support system from my professors and classmates, of whom I became comfortable with and built close-knit relationships with throughout the year. We learned of the diverse styles of teaching and the theories behind them. Additionally, we discussed the science of teaching and the art of teaching, as the two are very different, but both important to understand nonetheless. Beyond that, and at times more critically, we discussed the trials and tribulations of our days at school and shared these amongst each other. We were much more than just a class; we were a family. We became very close, completing our classes, internship, student teaching, and ultimately graduating with our Master’s in Education together in January of 2013.

I am happy and extremely thankful to say that I am currently employed as a full-time high school science teacher, and at the high school I graduated from! It is wonderful to be back at my own school, walking through the halls and teaching in the very same classrooms I sat in as a student.

I often find myself discussing the many experiences I gained, and still value, during my time in the UNH graduate program with my students, as they love to hear about how I ended up teaching back in my own high school. And the fact of the matter is, I could not have done it without the guidance and support of all those involved in the development of an exemplar education preparation program such as the University of New Haven’s.