Elizabeth Pierce

Master of Arts in Educational Studies with Elementary Teacher Certification, '12

Field of Study: ELMAC - Major in Mathematics, Minor in Fine Arts, Endorsement to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) 

Year in Program: c/o 2012 

Age: 27 

Geographic Region: Ann Arbof, MI 

Undergraduate: University of Michigan 

Prior to UM: Prior to returning to U of M, I was supervising an NGO non-profit before/after school program based at 3 elementary schools in Ann Arbor. 

Why your program? I chose elementary education because I wanted to be a part of shaping not only new minds, but I wanted to participate in developing and maintaining high yet reasonable educational expectations for future academic and career opportunities. 

The best part of SOE so far: This program actually taught me what I needed to know to be a successful future teacher. I had to do the full work of teaching. Consequently, I came out of ELMAC and I knew how to do my job; how to engage in the rich and rewarding work of helping students do their best learning. ELMAC taught me everything from meaningful planning and useful assessment to how to get and keep a teaching job in an increasingly limited and competitive market. 

After graduation: I planned on getting an elementary classroom teaching job in a high-needs, low-income district near to my own community. I found my ideal job and began working in August after completing my endorsement in ESL in July. 

Teach me something! Take advantage of the educational optimism in the University community while still recognizing it for what it is. Just because we know it should be better, doesn't mean it is always in our power to make it better...However, when we work together, focused on the purpose of our work (to ensure that adult students are "college and career ready", or, according to me, "able to take care of themselves and the people around them"), our potential to inspire meaningful change increases exponentially! As educators, we have unlimited potential to influence future generations for the better. We have to take this responsibility seriously in order to have the greatest impact. This often means that we must take time to discard our skepticism as we watch and learn from more experienced educators. The most important thing to understand about the work of teaching is that you never stop learning.

Pierce’s program of study:
Elementary Teacher Education (ELMAC)