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Alexandra Johnson

M.A.Ed. in Secondary Education, English

Alexandra Johnson
Curriculum and Instruction

  • 2023, William & Mary, Master of Arts in Education, Secondary Education, English
  • 2022, William & Mary, Bachelor of Arts, English & Linguistics

What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
I attended William & Mary for my undergraduate degree and feel so fortunate to have another year here in Williamsburg for my Master's! I completed a double major in English and Linguistics, which highly informs my approach to teaching. In particular, my research with the Discourse Analysis @ W&M lab on digital disability discourses has helped enrich my learning and given me an opportunity to apply digital humanities to my teaching in unique ways. I also taught with a private organization for four years prior to beginning this program, teaching reading, writing, and public speaking to secondary students.

As a student pursuing a master's degree in English Education, why did you choose this field and what motivates you in this work?
I chose teaching because, quite frankly, I love it. I love the process of coming up with ideas for lessons and activities and watching my students grow. I continue to be inspired and motivated to teach, however, because of the possibilities for justice inherent to education. Equitable access to learning is key in creating an equitable society and helps us to move our culture in positive directions.

What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
After graduation, I hope to be teaching in my own high school English classroom somewhere in Virginia! Eventually, I would like to pursue education administration and policy; maybe I will even return to William & Mary's School of Education for a doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Leadership!

Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
A major part of my decision in returning to William & Mary for my graduate program was the fact that I already knew that William & Mary and the surrounding community was a good fit for me. I love the cozy, small-town atmosphere of Williamsburg, and the enthusiastic learning community at William & Mary is such a special place. On top of that, I knew that the William & Mary School of Education has a wide array of connections across the state and country and holds a place of prestige in the education community that will help me achieve my goals after I graduated. In particular, William & Mary's leadership in educating exceptional students with their many outreach centers inspired me and continue to demonstrate how William & Mary is leading the charge in expanding educational resources in the state of Virginia.

What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
My most influential experience so far has been my field experience working in a classroom at Jamestown High School here in Williamsburg. Being able to begin building relationships with students at my placement starting on the very first day of school was amazing, and I continue to see how this work in the fall will support my success when I begin student teaching full-time in the spring. I joke sometimes that I wish I could be there every day already, but having the slow ease into full-time teaching is definitely not something to write off. Nothing beats hands-on experience with students, no matter how long!

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