- Teaching All Learners
- Graduation year:
- Cedarburg, WI
Q&A with Zach
Did INSPIRE help with your transition to college?
Yes, it did. There is only one other person from my High School who goes here so I really did not know anyone coming in. It was comforting to have all those welcome week events and have people so open to meeting each other and interacting.
What has been your favorite thing about living on the floor?
I really liked the Grand Slam for literacy event last year and I am planning on doing the basketball one this year. It was really fun just showing that as education majors we can give back to the community and interact with the students that way.
Have there been any speakers that stood out to you?
I really liked Dr Milner last year. He is from the University of Pittsburgh and he talked about racial issues that occur in public schools. That was something I hadn't really been passionate about going into the speech so I did not know how much I was going to get out of it but it was really motivating and was about overall how to be a better teacher.
Has INSPIRE had any influence on your ideas about your career?
I actually changed my major this year and I think it is because of INSPIRE. Originally, I was just elementary but I decided to switch to TAL after Jennifer Martin and her colleague came to talk about Co-teaching. Co-teaching is where there is a general teacher and a special education teacher in the same classroom and they divide up the work between them, or each teacher leads different ability groups but in the same classroom so they get to work with all the students. Also, kind of how we have had different discussions about Special Education on the floor has really helped me decide that I want to do that.
Have you made any connections that you feel will transcend your time at INSPIRE?
I'm getting an off-campus apartment next year with two of the people who live on the floor this year. From that standpoint, yeah, it's long-lasting. When I think about the previous year, it's just nice knowing that when I sign up for classes I will know at least a couple of people in my class and even if we do not regularly see each other, just to have that comfort level of asking for homework help or working on a group project.
Has INSPIRE helped you to get more involved with activities on campus?
I think so. Usually, we have all the main events for other organizations posted on the floor so it's been nice to know about other events that I might not know about. Last year, the director, Judy Crow really encouraged me to join ISEA which is why I am on it now. Also, every time we have an interesting seminar topic, it makes me want to learn a little more about that or go to another professional development event about that so that's been fun for me.
It's just nice knowing that when I sign up for classes I will know at least a couple of people in my class. Even if we do not regularly see each other, it's nice to just have that comfort level of asking for homework help or working on a group project.
What made you want to come back as a Peer Leader?
I really liked all of the different opportunities we had last year, whether that was the FULBRIGHT teachers or the different guest speakers. I think if I were living in an apartment or somewhere else this year, I would not have known about or been able to go to some of those things. Getting to meet more education majors in a non-formal setting outside of the classroom was also amazing. Coming back as a second year, I wanted to help out a little more than last year. I also wanted to have a say in some of the events we had this year so I applied for the leadership team.
Do you hold any other leadership positions?
I am in a leadership position in the ISEA in the School of Education. That is the Indiana Student Education Association, it is affiliated with the teachers' association in Indiana and nationally so it's like a professional development organization.
What are some of the responsibilities peer leaders have?
For the Welcome Week, it was really important for us to plan events to get the new students comfortable with campus and also with meeting each other. Some of them knew each other already so it was important to have them break out from that.
What are some of the skills a peer leader needs to have?
I think time management has been a big one for me, not over-committing yourself to things. Also, just having creative ideas or the willingness to throw out an idea even though it might not be the best or you don't think people will think it's a good idea.
Do you have advice for anyone who wants to join INSPIRE?
It is really important to tour the floor, particularly when there are people around, and talk to people so you can see how the community interacts.