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Pearl Gates

M.A.Ed. in Elementary Education

Curriculum and Instruction

  • 2022, William & Mary, Master of Arts in Education, Elementary Education
  • 2019, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bachelor of Arts, Forestry 

As a student pursuing a master's degree in Elementary Education, why did you choose this field?
I chose this field because I couldn't run from it any longer. I believe teaching is very close to my dharma, or my universal truth. To me, teaching is a form of service, and service to others is what makes the world go around, and what makes life meaningful. For my undergraduate degree, I majored in Forestry because I love hiking and tromping around in the outdoors. I initially thought I'd be a park ranger. The more experience I had in that field though, the more I realized that what I have craved in teaching is the relational aspect of it. I'm motivated to teach because I know we can do better as a society and as a world, and I also know it starts with the children.

What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
In 10 years, after having taken a break to start a family, I would want to eventually return to teaching, though with the idea of possibly going into administration. I would only want to someday try that route because I do carry some strong leadership capabilities, and after years of teaching, I think it would be another awesome way to care for teachers!

What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
My relationship with my advisor and with most of my professors has made this crazy year seem possible. All of my professors are understanding and I can really tell they care about us. My favorite thing so far though has been my field placement. I was placed in a Kindergarten classroom, and I'm loving every minute of it. Getting to know the kids and my Cooperating Teacher (CT) has been an absolute dream. I would argue for more time spent in the classroom any day. That's where I feel I'm learning the most realistic side of teaching in addition to skills in classroom management in the most hands-on way. 

Any additional information you think a prospective student should know about the School of Education and its degree programs?
Make friends in your program as soon as possible! It's much easier to get through a tough academic period of time when you know you're going through it with friends.

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Elementary Education