Juan Trejo Gonzalez MA ‘21 earned his master's and teaching credential at USF's location in Santa Rosa. Gonzalez recently spoke with the School of Education about what inspired him to become a teacher. Check out our conversation below!
I teach Spanish to grades 9-12. I’m advisor of Christian Club and Latinos Unidos, as well as a member of the School Site Council.
I wanted to become a teacher when I started working as a paraprofessional at a middle school. Working there is when I realized that I wanted to give back to the community by becoming a teacher and, more importantly, to give back to MY community where I attended school. I really wanted to teach in the district that I graduated from.
Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because of the convenience of the program and how the schedule was structured, it made it easy for me to work and go to school full-time. It was also very close to my house.
What did you like best about being in the program?
I liked how small the program was and how close we all got to one another and to the professors in the program.
What was the most surprising thing you learned either in the field or in the program?
How fun lesson planning really is! It was something I was so scared of prior to joining the program, but it quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the entire profession.
What aspect of teaching required the most work or growth for you?
I think time management was what required the most work for me, I quickly found that I was working a lot outside of my contract hours. I had to learn to set limits for myself and to learn how to say no.
How has the pandemic impacted your educational and subsequent teaching experience?
The pandemic really impacted my educational and teaching experience by affecting my mental health. It was hard for me to teach online and do everything online at home. I am so happy to be back in the classroom.
How did USF support your transition to the classroom as a student teacher?
I had a really great supervisor. She really helped me as an educator and taught me some very useful techniques that I use every single day as an educator.
How did transitioning to your teaching position as a USF graduate feel?
It felt great not being an intern and having a year under my belt. I am learning every day as I go, but USF gave me a great foundation.
What advice would you give to new students starting their teaching credential program?
Take care of yourself!!! Work will always be there and, quite honestly, you will find that no matter the amount of hours you put in, you will always feel that you can put more hours in. It is okay to step back and take time for yourself.