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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Falcon Focus: Student teacher teaching to inspire

Since December break ended, student teacher Krista Fazekas has been observing history teacher Jerry Sheehy and world geography teacher Richard Ellis’s classrooms, taking notes on her computer.

Fazekas is a graduate student at San Jose State currently trying to earn her teaching credential in social science. Early February, Fazekas started teaching sixth-period world history and fifth-period world geography, which she will continue to teach for the rest of the semester.

“The environment is great here. The kids are great. [They] are very focused, driven and motivated,” Fazekas said.

Not only does Fazekas want to teach students academic content, she also wants to teach them life skills. Because Fazekas is also a student right now, she realizes that students need to learn and practice certain skills to succeed in college.

“I want to be able to challenge them, maybe in ways they haven’t been challenged before. I also want to address them with life skills,” Fazekas said.

Fazekas does have some previous teaching experience, however. She taught as a student teacher at Independence High last semester.

“[Independence High] gets a really bad reputation because they are in East Side San Jose, but the kids there are great and people underestimate their abilities,” Fazekas said. “It’s different there, but at the end of the day you guys are all teenagers and you all want to have fun and to learn something, and that’s what I want to do.”

After completing her student teaching and earning her teaching credentials, Fazekas hopes to get a job as a social science teacher. She hopes to have a teaching job next fall, but teaching jobs, especially social science teaching positions, are hard to find right now.

If Fazekas could teach another subject, she would teach physical education. She loves sports, especially soccer.

“I like sports a lot. Just being outside and getting kids in shape and getting them healthy and learning about nutrition is important to me,” Fazekas said.

Fazekas’s inspiration to become a teacher came from her own experience in high school. She attended Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, and she did not have the easiest time in high school.

“There were definitely certain subjects that were a struggle for me, and history was definitely one of them,” Fazekas said.

During her junior year in high school, Fazekas had a history teacher who completely changed her perspective on history and opened her eyes to all the possibilities of history. She realized that history is not just about the names and dates, but more about people’s stories and experiences.

“She just taught out of the box and a light bulb went off and it just made sense to me,” Fazekas said.

Fazekas believes her experience was “really exciting” because her teacher introduced her to the beauty of a subject she once disliked, something she now wants to do for other students.

“I want to do that for somebody someday,” Fazekas said. “If I can reach one or two kids and have them think about something differently and give them drive and motivation, maybe some self-esteem and confidence that they can do this. It’s that what matters and makes it worth it.”

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