Class of 2019: Raya Belton

What was your favorite part of the program?

I loved actually getting to go into the classroom. I was in a 5th grade classroom for both interning and student teaching so I was able to spend an entire school year with the same group. This allowed me to really get to know them as children rather than just as students. My cooperating teacher was amazing and really let me take charge and try my hand at leading the class.

Teaching is different from other professions because there is no right answer and every school year is a new start. Being able to go beyond learning theories in a classroom at UT and getting to learn how to apply them was so beneficial.

Who has helped you during this experience?

My cooperating teacher, Susan Chellgreen, as well as the whole 5th grade team at Baty Elementary have gone above and beyond with supporting me throughout these last two semesters. They’re such amazing individuals that when they come together as a team, it’s magical. My family and boyfriend have also been really supportive and encouraging during stressful times during my program.

I’d also like to thank Cinthia Salinas for taking the time to sit down with me and talk through different aspects of the program. I was so blessed to be completely surrounded by wonderful and supportive people. I couldn’t have done it without them.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will be moving to San Antonio to teach kindergarten at the School of Science and Technology. I have been working with preschoolers and kindergarteners since I was old enough to work so I am so excited to get to continue to work with them.

Raya Belton is graduating with a degree in Applied Learning and Development with an EC-6 Generalist Certification. She was the recipient of the Thomas and Marty Godbout Endowed Scholarship in Education.