Founder, Wonderwell Early Learning Center, Austin, TX
M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, 2013
I graduated from Texas Tech University in 2008 and taught Kindergarten for three years in Houston in the Spring Branch Independent School District. During my third year of teaching, I started thinking hard about graduate school. I developed a passion for teaching teachers how to seamlessly integrate technology into their curriculum and knew it was time to take this passion to a new level. I was accepted to The Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin and started my graduate coursework in the Learning Technologies program in the fall of 2011. It was grueling. It was difficult. It was liberating. It was everything I needed. I learned so much from the people in my program as they shared their journeys over the course of our program. The diversity was incredible and provided us all with a rich learning culture. I additionally facilitated two cohorts of gifted, enthusiastic student teachers who shared my passion for instructional technology and early childhood education. I have formed lasting relationships with my professors, colleagues, and these student teachers. These relationships have all been instrumental in helping me become the educator I am today.
This is very simple: the scholastic excellence and academic rigor is unmatched. I wanted to be surrounded by professors and teacher educators who were truly dedicated to changing the world. Dr. Hoffman’s course on cognitive coaching helped me grow as a teacher educator and afforded me the opportunity to work alongside graduate students who were pursuing their doctoral degrees. Additionally, Dr. Hughes’ remarkable passion for preservice teachers and professional learning inspired me to start a blog and establish a strong digital presence to share my journey as both a teacher and a teacher educator. My blog has connected me with educators from all over the world. The sharing of knowledge and resources in my courses was unique and invaluable. My two years at The University of Texas were some of the best years of my life!
Life After UT
I am designing and building WonderWell, a state-of-the-art early learning school inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early childhood education, here in Austin, Texas. My undergraduate teaching experiences, years in the early childhood classroom, and graduate courses at the University of Texas have all undoubtedly equipped me with the knowledge and skills that will make WonderWell successful. We are currently under construction and have plans to open our doors to our children in January 2018. Please visit our website for more information: www.WonderWell.com
Advice for Current Students
Come prepared to work hard and make a difference. Spend quality time getting to know your professors and colleagues. Take risks and engage in challenges outside of your comfort zone. Ask for guidance. Stay organized. Get ahead of your assignments so you have time to really enjoy what you are learning. The days are long, but the years are short! Enjoy the wealth of knowledge and expertise.