Alliance Susan and Eric Smidt Technology High School, Los Angeles, CA
My internship at Alliance Susan and Eric Smidt Technology High School (a.k.a. Alliance Smidt Tech) gave me the opportunity to see the different roles and responsibilities that are needed to run a high school in a low-income community. I had several responsibilities, including tutoring students for their credit recovery program, parent recruitment efforts, student recruitment efforts and administrative work. These responsibilities gave me a three-dimensional view of working at a high school, and I learned that teaching goes way beyond the classroom. Schools, especially in low-income communities, need to act as a community for everything to run efficiently and effectively. When I was tutoring students, I would see teachers and administrators checking in with students regarding their progress with their classes and life. Since Alliance Smidt Tech is a small high school, everyone knows each other, and it didn’t take long until everyone knew my name and my purpose. I became a part of this community and learned that I had to understand it to serve it. I was serving more than just the students of Alliance Smidt Tech. I was serving the community.
Thanks to this experience, I am certain that I belong in education. I was passionate when explaining a historic event and felt confident in explaining the different ways in which the student’s writing could be improved. However, I was really enveloped in working in the special education department. I informally talked with the head of the department, who asked if I ever considered working in special education because of the way I interacted with students. I began realizing that my passion lies in special education. I have never considered going into this field but now having worked in the area, I will try to explore it by taking graduate classes regarding special education.
Before this internship, I was unsure of what I was going to do after Williams, but now that I have talked to several teachers about their career journeys, I decided that I want to go to graduate school to receive a degree and teaching credential or apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program to gain experience in teaching and then head to graduate school to earn my graduate degree and teaching credential. I saw the multiple routes that others have taken, and that helped me plan my own.
I would like to thank everyone at Alliance Smidt Tech for welcoming me and allowing me to be a part of the community that they have built. I would also like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for helping me to pursue my interests in education. I am grateful for every single person who has helped me throughout this summer by sharing their experiences and willingness to teach me what they know. Thank you.