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News from Baylor School of Education

First-Year Teacher Reflections: How Did our 2017 Grads Do? [08/09/2018]


The Baylor School of Education prepares graduates for the classroom through rigorous coursework as well as intense faculty-guided field experiences. But how did the 2017 grads really do in their own classrooms? Read the reflections of five graduates after their first year of teaching. (BTW, job placement for our May 2017 BSEd graduates seeking teaching positions was 100 percent!)

Trevor Taylor, BSEd ’17
High School English
Wagner High School, Judson ISD

“A week (literally seven days) after crossing the stage and becoming a Baylor alum, I was offered my dream job of being a high school English teacher at Wagner High School in San Antonio. Many of us hope to make a difference in the world around us. We strive to leave a legacy. We desire to leave the world a better place than the way we found it. I felt called to pursue this mission in the community that raised me, so there was no better place for me to begin my career as a world changer than in the exact same halls that I walked as a high school student.”


Amy Feind BSEd ’16, MA ’17
PACEE / Autism Teacher, K-5
Seven Hills Elementary, Northwest ISD

“I remember standing in front of my school at 7:15 a.m. on the first day, awaiting my students’ bus arrival. I had knots in my stomach because I didn’t quite know what to expect. Would my students be able to speak to me? Would they be toilet trained? And what about meltdowns?. . .

“Now that I have finished my first year of teaching, I’m able to look back at all of the should-haves, the successes, the intensity, the fun, and the large number of naps that were required to push me through. I can say — without a doubt — that Baylor prepared me to be a successful teacher.”


Gabriela Ortiz, BSEd ’17
Kindergarten Teacher
J.H. Hines Elementary, Waco ISD

“I had to find a way to deal with all of the behaviors without it affecting the education of the other students. The thing that kept popping into my head was this phrase that my Baylor SOE professors said so often: ‘Positive reinforcement is important.’ And let me tell you, they were so right! It’s amazing how behavior can change in a child when they are being praised for something good they have done.”


Raven Richard, BSEd ’17
First-Grade English, Reading and Writing Teacher
Robinson Primary, Robinson ISD

“At times I didn’t think I was doing the right thing or teaching the subject at hand correctly. But all my doubts and concerns would be erased when my students took a spelling test and aced it, when a student read a book and scored a 100, or when they have learned to use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and use the correct punctuation.”


Sarah Lopez Ford, BSEd ’17
Eighth-grade Pre-AP/IB Spanish 1
Ford Middle School, Allen ISD

“Being the only Spanish teacher in my school came with its own challenges. I had to rely on myself and make the best decision I could for my students without the luxury of being able to consult with other Spanish teachers on my campus. This was by far the most difficult part of the year. It was lonely at times, but it allowed me to take full ownership of my position and come into my own as a teacher. Without my professors and mentor teachers from Baylor and Midway Middle School, there is no way I would have survived this year.”


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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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