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Patrick Northrup

M.A.Ed. in Secondary Education, Social Studies & ESL Certificate

Patrick Northrup
Curriculum and Instruction

  • 2023, William & Mary, Master of Arts in Education, Secondary Education, Social Studies & ESL Certificate
  • 2022, William & Mary, Bachelor of Arts, Government

What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
Throughout high school and my undergraduate experience, I worked on various political campaigns assisting with voter registration, training volunteers, and voter turnout through phone banking and canvassing. I managed a school board race in my hometown and worked as a legislative aide for a state delegate. While studying government at William & Mary, I also had the opportunity to take various religion, history, gender studies, and dance classes.

As a student pursuing a master's degree in Social Studies Education, why did you choose this field and what motivates you in this work?
I come from a family of educators and have seen the positive impact that they have had on their students, families, and communities. I have always been inspired by the work of teachers and have fond memories of my own educational experiences. I am motivated to be that teacher that students remember years down the road, whether that relates to support and mentorship I provided or a fun lesson I taught. I hope to make students feel valued and empower them to use their voices and lead effectively.

What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
After graduation, I hope to become a teacher within a strong public school system and build meaningful relationships with my students while continuously improving as an educator. In 10-15 years, I may still teach, go back to school to study law or history, or work in politics or the non-profit sector. Anything can happen in that time though!

Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
William & Mary and the surrounding Williamsburg area are beautiful, and the people are incredibly down-to-earth and insightful. The class sizes, professor accessibility and care, and opportunities available as a student at William & Mary were also impactful in my decision to study here. I knew I wanted to teach at the secondary level and merging into this program from my undergraduate studies at William & Mary naturally made sense.

What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
The opportunity to get a certificate to teach ESL alongside my endorsement in social studies has greatly influenced my knowledge of language acquisition and general approach to teaching. The knowledge I've received from my ESL classes has been especially useful in my field experience which has a significant multilingual student population.

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