The LSU GeauxTeach program produces highly-qualified graduates who are prepared to teach, pursue graduate studies, go to medical school, or enter the workforce in a variety of professional disciplines. The possibilities are truly infinite.
Here are two promising GeauxTeach graduates who are using their GT experience to maximize their career potential.
Willie Talbert has known his entire life that he wanted to be a doctor. He was inspired by the fictitious Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, the doting dad and obstetrician portrayed by Bill Cosby, on the widely popular Cosby Show.
“I initially wanted to do pediatrics, but I was able to shadow a cardiologist at the Baton Rouge Cardiology Clinic and it changed my perspective. It was a really great experience,” said Willie.
In 2009, he enrolled at LSU as a biological sciences major and later added a secondary education minor through the GeauxTeach Program, which gives students an opportunity to graduate with a BS in math or science and be certified and highly-qualified to teach in that subject area. All incoming freshmen received an email about GeauxTeach, but it was the program’s introductory class that persuaded Talbert to enroll.
“I initially enrolled in GeauxTeach thinking that it would look great on my medical school application,” said Willie. “It was a boost because they don’t see folks who are qualified to teach and go into medicine, but it was the teaching that helped me to be successful in my science course work.”
Willie, a fall 2013 graduate, is enjoying life as an LSU alum.
“Life after graduation is refreshing,” said Willie. “It is nice to not have to juggle studying and working, but I miss it and will miss it more as time goes on.”
After graduation, he realized that he had approximately eight months before the start of medical school. He will be attending the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans in August. This free time was a great opportunity to put his GeauxTeach experience to good use.
Denham Springs High School, Willie’s alma mater, was looking for an experienced biology and chemistry teacher and his GeauxTeach preparation equipped him to step in.
“With GeauxTeach, you can have a job immediately after graduation,” said Talbert. “Schools are always looking for good math and science teachers.”
“I felt a lot more comfortable teaching with a degree in biological sciences. I know the content and I received tons of classroom experience. It was an easy transition to the classroom. I was confident in my teaching skills because I had the experience to back it up,” adds Willie.
Willie was accepted to the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans.
Heather Bass, a May 2012 GeauxTeach graduate in mathematics, garnered the attention of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for incorporating the latest mathematics teaching tools in her Port Allen High School classroom.
Heather was part of the Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC), a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that groups curriculum designers, assessment developers, professional learning specialists, and school districts across the nation in an effort to develop high-quality instructional tools and professional support services for math teachers.
MDC trains math instructors in the use of formative assessments, which are formal and informal assessment procedures used to adjust teaching and learning activities, and improve student achievement. Bass was exposed to formative assessments while working towards a mathematics degree in the LSU GeauxTeach (GT) program. GT allows math and science teachers to pursue a bachelors of science all while earning a teacher’s certification.
“Formative assessment is an effective way to determine a student’s level of understanding, so that the teacher can meet the student’s immediate learning needs,” said Bass, who was exposed to formative assessment techniques early in her academic career as a GeauxTeach student.
“From my first GeauxTeach class, I was able to apply the techniques in real classroom situations, so I was very confident and prepared as I entered the classroom as a full-time math instructor. ”
Heather's experience using formative assessments led MDC to videotape her co-teaching a math assessment project on time graphs with fellow Port Allen High instructor Terry Hobbins. The MDC educational video will be used to teach math instructors how to incorporate formative assessments in their classrooms.