Name and pronouns: Allyson Powers, she/her
Grad Year and Major/Minors: 2021, English Major, Education Minor
Favorite Part about Binghamton: Participating in the education minor (more specifically, taking every class possible with Mr. Archer)
What were you involved with on campus? I was involved with the education minor steering committee, the cheerleading team, and the Telefund!
Current Job Title: 8th grade English teacher / ESOL teacher
Current Location: Providence, RI
Why did you choose to go into teaching/Teach For America after graduation?
I knew I was going to be an educator, but I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take. I knew that I wanted to work with diverse communities and serve populations that are often neglected in the education system, thus TFA made the most sense to me. I learned about it in EDUC 406, so I applied as a junior and thankfully got in the same day the school shut down for COVID. Teaching is the perfect way for me to share my passion for literature with the younger generation while also being there for my students where there wasn’t always somewhere there for me at that age.
What has been most rewarding so far about working in education?
The most rewarding things are the relationships I’ve made with my students and watching them succeed! A lot of the time, our kids haven’t been told “good job” or “I’m proud of you,” so finally hearing that makes them realize what they’re capable of. There is nothing more rewarding than watching my students progress and be proud of themselves.
What has been an unexpected challenge?
The community I work with is heavily multi-language learners, which I was aware of, but I wasn’t aware to what extent. I had some students come to this country half-way through the school year not speaking any English, and then have to attend to their needs in the same general education ELA class I taught with students that are reading above grade level. Once I realized how their peers are willing to help one another, it was a challenge I was excited to face!
How did Binghamton help prepare you for your current role (i.e. resources you used, classes you took, etc.)?
The education minor helped me ignite my passion for education and the current system we have in the U.S.. Courses like EDUC 410, EDUC 406, and multicultural perspectives in education gave me knowledge that was extremely useful going into this field. Knowing the systems and policies in place going into education helped me become a stronger advocate for my students and my school itself.
What advice would you give to current Binghamton students who are thinking about working in education?
Mr. Archer’s classic line, “Teaching is the hardest job everyone thinks they can do.” The man has never told a lie. People will look down on you, but it isn’t until you’re actually in the classroom making those connections to these kids that you realize how worth it it is. Never let those outside of the profession look down upon your work. You are creating the next generation of thinkers and leaders, how many people can say they are doing that?!