The University of Texas at Austin’s Teach for America recruitment team is continuing our 2017 Corps Member features! We’re highlighting some of the fantastic individuals who have signed on as corps members, such as Julio Gonzalez, in order to shed some light on an organization that focuses on eliminating educational inequity once and for all.
Today’s featured member is Sarah Khan, a government senior and 2017 Corps Member. During her time at UT, Sarah was involved in Mu Epsilon Theta. Sarah identifies not a specific organization or experience as her jumping off point for joining Teach for America, but a professor. Sarah explains, “All of my educational life, science has been a rough subject for me. I learned pretty early on that I was not good at it and I always dreaded taking any science courses. However, during my junior year at UT, I was forced into a course on the Scientific Revolution of 17th century, a history of sciences course. Yet, I ended up with an A in that course, and I subsequently took every course that professor offered. I was hooked. I realized the notion that I was bad at science was not necessarily true. In fact, I realized it may take a little more effort but even I could be a scientific mind if I wanted. I want to push my students beyonds their comfort zones and help them realize hidden passions and help them one set back will not prevent them from excelling.”
After completing her time at the Summer Institute, Sarah will be teaching general education for fourth-eighth grade in Houston. Sarah is thrilled to begin her journey, but she acknowledges that there will be obstacles along the way. “I think the hardest part will be creating that initial connection. I know that my students will be coming from many different background and many different home environments. I want to create more than just a teacher-student relationship but rather I want to be someone they can come to as a mentor in life. However, I know that relationship will take time and a lot of reassurance to my students that I will not give up on them and that I will work as hard as possible to see them not only succeed but develop as a person.” Despite these challenges Sarah still believes that “quality education is a right” and hopes to “develop and learn from my time in the classroom in order to truly assess what students benefit from and what they truly need.”
While Sarah hopes to get involved in educational policy after her two-year commitment, she urges teachers to stay involved past their required time: “We are given one life to live, we have been afforded so many opportunities regardless of where you come from. It is our job to help our society. It is our duty to ensure our next generation will make us even greater than we are now. I firmly believe that TFA is not only a great way to help our children because educated, critical thinkers but it is a way for us to help our society.”
Stay tuned for more 2017 Corps Member features! If you have any interest in applying, talk to our Recruitment Manager, Jorge Galan. He can be reached at Jorge.Galan@teachforamerica.org.