Deborah Simons

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

Deborah  Simons, School of Education

Field of Study: ELMAC- Language Arts and Mathematics

Year in Program: c/o 2012

Age: 25

Geographic Region: Chicago, IL

Undergraduate: University of Michigan

Prior to UM: I attended the University of Michigan from 2007-2011, and earned my Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Immediately following, I was accepted into the ELMAC program and earned my Master's in Elementary Education with Certification

Why your program? I chose to get my Master's in Elementary Education with Certification from U of M because it is a phenomenal program. In only one year, I studied and earned my Master's degree in Elementary Education and was certified to teach. The ELMAC program also offers students year round, hands-on experience inside a real classroom with a mentor teacher. As an ELMAC student, I learned pedagogy and fundamental teaching skills from both my U of M professors and my mentor teacher.

The best part of SOE so far: The best part of SOE was learning from professors who were as passionate about teaching and students as I am.

After graduation: After graduation, I moved to Chicago and taught in a Turn-Around school. At the end of each school year, the City of Chicago Board of Education evaluates Chicago Public Schools based on many factors, including test scores and attendance records. The school boards decide whether to deem a particular school as "failing", and then decide whether it will be put on probation, up for turn-around, or shut down. The Academy for Urban School Leadership, AUSL, takes on new turn around schools and provides funding necessary for building renovations, resources, and the hiring of new administration and teachers to teach at an inner city schools, turn around school. I taught at the Stagg School of Excellence, a new turn around school, on the South Side of Chicago for one year. Now, I am currently teaching at the Chicago Jewish Day School (CJDS), a small, private Jewish day school on the North side of Chicago. This will be my second year teaching third grade at CJDS.

Teach me something! My advice to all SOE students is to follow your heart and do what you love. Develop a rapport with your professors, mentor teacher, and students. Do not be afraid to try new things and ask for help or advice. Some of the best ideas come from members of your cohort and your colleagues. Take advantage of all that Ann Arbor has to give because there's no other town like Ann Arbor. Get football and basketball tickets and go to the games decked out in Maize and Blue. Go to the farmers market in Kerrytown and talk to the vendors. Walk through the arb during every season. Sit in the diag and read a book, have a picnic, or just watch the students go by.