Christine Saraco was an English major and Education minor at Ursinus College and received her PA Level I teaching certification in English 7-12. She student taught at Perkiomen Valley High School and graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2015. At Ursinus, Christine was a member of the English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta, a student consultant for the Teaching and Learning Initiative, an Admissions tour guide, and a tutor in the Center for Writing and Speaking. Currently, Christine is in her second year as a member of the Alliance for Catholic Education program. She teaches English and special education courses at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia. She is also earning a Master’s degree in Education and her certification as a Reading Specialist K-12 from St. Joseph’s University, and she will graduate in May 2017.
Impact of Ursinus
Ursinus completely changed the way I view teaching and learning and fully prepared me to be an effective classroom teacher. I’m a huge believer in the Understanding by Design method that we learn at Ursinus, and I’ve seen firsthand how useful it is with students at every level. I remember creating units in Dr. Spencer’s classes framed around these “essential questions” and one that I always included, as an English teacher, was some variation of “why are we reading this text?” I still do this when I plan because it helps me as a teacher to constantly be reflective in my teaching, and to always be asking myself what my students should be getting out of my units. The simple fact that we spend so much time learning not just the practical matters of how to teach, but what is worth teaching speaks to our overall educational philosophy at Ursinus. In addition, many courses in the Education department as well as the English department exposed me to larger issues of race, gender, and class and how these factors influence our society at large, which is something I think is important for all teachers to understand. There’s a lot of negativity today about our schools and teachers, but I only ever heard inspiring words from my professors at Ursinus, and I’m definitely a better teacher and person for having gone there.