Future educators form new club, explore career opportunitiesby Jan Janes on Oct 4, 2019
There’s a new club on campus, Future Educators, focused on exploring teaching as an educational pathway and as a career.
Current members of Future Educators share community and explore career paths.
President John Zgragen and Interclub Council representative Kaitlyn Cox invite everyone to come and explore the range of possibilities by attending a club meeting.
Future Educators will table an event on campus for Club Day on Tuesday, Oct. 8, with a promise of cool games, chocolate and the chance to win prizes.
In the greater Bay Area, the teacher shortage is pervasive. Career opportunities range from early childhood education through K-12. At the community college level, some faculty positions in key Career Education and STEM programs remain unfilled.
Kaitlyn Cox, second from left, and John Zgragen, second from right, plan three
upcoming events at a recent club meeting.
“I considered the idea of teaching in high school,” said Zgragen. “A few teachers really inspired me, including a history teacher.” He described the class as something the teacher made exciting and something to look forward to.
“My teaching experience has been tutoring other students,” he said. “I tutored in the Math Lab this semester and tutored students in history at the Learning Commons.” He works inside a classroom teaching History 2, then tutors students as they write research papers, learn writing styles and work on reading comprehension.
Cox loved school as a child and expressed an interest in being a teacher at a young age. “Education has always been exciting to me,” she said. “When my daughter was born, I was inspired to pursue my once abstract dreams.”
She has worked for South County Cal-SOAP on several school campuses the past two years. The program helps prepare low-income and first generation students for college.
“My favorite teaching experience so far has been working with fifth graders in a curriculum ‘I’m Going to College,’” said Cox. The program encourages students to begin thinking about the idea of college, and helps them understand what it is. “I love seeing how involved and excited they get.”
As part of exploring the career pathway, Future Educators can tour San Jose State University, San Francisco State University and California State University Monterey Bay - one campus on each day - on the next three Fridays in October. These three area colleges are noted for their education departments. Tour registration requires a $10 deposit, refundable the day of the tour to attendees who arrive. Students receive a free lunches as part of the tour.
“So far the biggest event the club has planned is a Teachers Panel,” said Zgragen. “Teachers from early childhood all the way to the college level will speak about their journeys of becoming a teacher.” The panel is slated for Thursday, Nov. 21.For students not yet sure about career goals or teaching as a career, Cox offered some insight. “Future Educators Club is open to anyone interested in education,” she said. “We have a wide range of experience and interests among our members.”