Jessica Shaker (Credential ’14, MA ’15) Open Letter of Thanks from Early Career Alumna
I have been thinking back to who I was before the UC Davis credential program, and I cannot believe how much I have grown. I entered the credential program thinking I knew how to be a teacher, and I quickly realized there is so much more to learn! I now know that teachers are lifelong learners and I want to thank you for getting that learning off to such a strong start.
I thank the faculty most of all.
Shannon Cannon, thank you for setting such high expectations.You set the bar for the entire year. The work ethic that you encouraged us to have is something that we will need throughout our careers in education. I was routinely impressed by how well-prepared your lessons were. With your enthusiasm, creativity, and organization, you have become one of my role models. Thank you for continually going above and beyond to give us rich educational experiences. I appreciate all of the guidance and support you gave us throughout the year.
Al Mendle, thank you for always making learning fun. I enjoyed all the hands-on math activities that we did, and my students this year enjoy them as well! Thank you for encouraging us to make a strong website. I never dreamed I would be able to make a website with so many links and embedded videos, but you made it possible! Not only do I have the confidence to make my own staff website, but I have the confidence to help my students create their own websites as well! Thank you also for your patient guidance with the PACT. Your guidance made what seemed overwhelming at first to actually be not only manageable but a valuable learning experience as well.
Michele Fortes, you opened my eyes to the wonderful world of writing. I end each day of class with my students writing in their journals, and I write back to them just like you did. I had a student tell me in the beginning of the year that she hated writing and now she can’t get enough of it! Thank you for giving us ideas on how to make writing fun, authentic, and meaningful. You shared with us a joy of reading and writing that I hope I can pass on to my students.
Beth Foraker, thank you for being such a strong support system. You told me that you would be our cheerleader, and you sure were! When you observed me student teaching, you helped me to become a confident teacher. Reflecting with you was always a valuable experience and I have learned a lot from my conversations with you. Thank you so much for believing in me and giving me the advice that I needed to be successful.
Through all of your help, I was able to get my dream job teaching 5th grade at Birch Lane Elementary in Davis. I am constantly thinking back to everything that we learned in the credential program as I make my lesson plans for the year. The program thoroughly prepared us to go out into the world of education and make a difference. I still have so much more to learn, but I want to thank you so much for getting me off to a strong start. You have made a huge difference in my life and I only hope I can make that same difference for my students.