Peter Benson

Master of Arts in Educational Studies with Secondary Teacher Certification, '13

Peter  Benson, School of Education

Field of Study: SECMAC, endorsements in Math, Physics, Computer Science

Year in Program: c/0 2013

Age: 53

Geographic Region: Brighton, MI

Undergraduate: University of Michigan

Prior to UM: Prior to returning for my fourth U of M degree, I was a pilot in the Michigan Air Guard, a software developer, and I worked on Wall Street.

Why your program? I was inspired by my own children. I feel a strong sense of purpose working with my kids, and teaching other people's children is a natural extension of that purpose. I chose math, physics, and computer science because I am passionate about those subjects, and passion is required to engage students.

The best part of SOE so far: Although I taught graduate students, professionals, and kids in the past, I didn't have a process for improving my teaching. The MAC program was an intensive introduction into theory and practice. Through feedback from my instructors, fellow MACers, my mentor teacher, and the students in my internship, I've learned how to effectively reflect on my teaching.

After graduation: I am starting my second year at FlexTech High School in Brighton, MI (along with MACers Emily Polaczyk, Chris Quiambao). I teach math, physics, and computer science. We are an alternative high school for students whose needs are not being met in their current school. As a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, I will teach at least three years in a high-needs school. After that, I'd like to divide my time between teaching kids and teaching other teachers. 

Teach me something! Embrace the growth mindset, and truly be a lifelong learner. For example, educators continue to grapple with the role of technology in school. Instead of waiting to see what happens, create your own website to manage your classroom materials via, e.g., Learn to code along with your kids (e.g., Let your students see you model learning.