Meet your Colleagues: Laura in San Juan Capistrano

Name: Laura Saenger
Site: San Juan Capistrano
School attending:
Vanderbilt University Returning teacher?: New Teacher
Class(es) teaching:
Science and ?

I have dedicated two years of my Vanderbilt education to the profession of teaching. One would think I’d feel more confident, more assured, and more ready. I know I have the tools, I have the knowledge, but something about a classroom full of middle school students scares me more than anything I’ve experienced thus far. The funny part though, is that this fear is masked by an intense excitement also unlike anything I know. The closest thing I can compare it to is a new ride at an amusement park; you’ve never been on the terrifying rollercoaster before and your mind races as you peer up at the twists and turns, but overpowering these thoughts is your racing heart, full of excitement and anticipation.I think Breakthrough teaching will be the most difficult thing I have ever attempted; it will be jumping into my chosen career two years earlier than I ever thought would happen. It’s a challenge, but a welcome and exciting challenge. I will be able to test out everything I’ve learned this far, evaluate the lectures, practicum experiences and discussions from the past two years, keeping what works and revising what isn’t working.
I hope the learning from this summer is two-fold. Obviously I want my students to come away from the summer with a better understanding of science (hopefully that I taught them!), and I want to take from this summer techniques and approaches to education that aren’t being taught at Vanderbilt. More than this though, I hope to build relationships with my students and peers, connections that will be lasting and meaningful. I think these relationships have to precede the truly important learning. My goal is for my students this summer to use me as a resource throughout the rest of their educational careers in whatever capacity my help would be beneficial.
So despite being nervous, I am so anxious and excited for June 14th to come along and this summer to begin!


One Response to Meet your Colleagues: Laura in San Juan Capistrano

  1. chris says:

    I am really thrilled about your enthusiasm with regards to this summer. At orientation the returning students were excited to see 4 of the 6 teachers that were on staff last summer. Orange County residential teacher alums like Jessica Demerost and Adrienne Baker were really excited when Stephen and myself arrived in Southern California. It has certainly been a joyful reunion and I can confidently say that I consider my fellow peers who taught with me last summer life long friends. Be safe in your travels Laura and be sure to join the facebook group Breakthrough Collaborative San Juan Capistrano.

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