Daniel Juckett

Master of Arts in Educational Studies with Secondary Teacher Certification, Alum

Daniel  Juckett, School of Education

Field of Study: MA Ed Studies with SECMAC

Year in Program: Alum

Geographic Region: East Lansing, Michigan

Undergraduate: University of Michigan

Prior to UM: After earning a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan, I accepted my first professional position at NVIDIA in California. Much to my surprise, I did not enjoy my work as much as I had hoped and realized that I was interested in engineering more as a hobby than a career. At that point, I did some soul searching and realized that my most rewarding job had been as a teacher and counselor at Camp CAEN, a summer computer camp offered by U-M’s College of Engineering. I just loved the interaction with the students, so I thought, well maybe education is something I should do.

Why your program? I chose the Secondary MAC program because it is a one-year program rather than two, and I had heard great things about it. The curriculum is super intense and theory-driven, although a few of of the courses such as EDUC 413: Teaching Secondary School Mathematics focused on a practical application of concepts, which I found helpful. That particular course, taught by faculty member Matt Ronfeldt and graduate student instructor Michaela O’Neill, fueled my interest in using creative approaches to group work in the classroom.

The best part of SOE so far: As a student teacher at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, I had the opportunity to apply the ideas and strategies I learned in my course work to promote learning in my two sections of Algebra I. My mentor teacher emphasized building relationships with the students to let them know that they matter. I was doing daily lesson planning and learned the importance of routine in promoting positive classroom behavior. I also learned how to encourage my students to check their answers with one another. You want them to collaborate because they need to validate their own knowledge, not have me validate it all the time. They were type of students who didn't have a lot of confidence in their ability, so I tried to develop that. I thought, "If I can get these kids to believe they’re good at math, that they can do it, that’s a big deal."

After graduation: After graduation from the MAC program, I wanted to teach in a nontraditional school setting that utilized a project-based approach to learning. 

Teach me something! Find a few hours each week to take a break from work and have some fun!