As the school year comes to a close, we reflect on our growth and look to the future. Elementary Education senior Xochitl Mondragon is taking this time of reflection to show her gratitude to the educators that got her where she is today. From formative years spent with outstanding grade school teachers, to the inspirational difference teachers made on her young niece, to the guidance and "pure heart" of professors in the College of Education, this Teacher Appreciation Week (and every week) we celebrate teachers. Now, as Xochtil says her goodbyes to Illinois, she prepares to join the ranks of impactful educators everywhere.
A little bit about Xochitl:
Q: Where is home for you?
A: I'm from the northern Chicago suburbs.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I'm a senior in Elementary Education.
Q: What do you enjoy about the campus experience, so far?
A: My campus experience has reminded me to appreciate what I have. It has also helped me become independent and get closer to my goals.
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I was fortunate enough to have amazing elementary teachers all throughout grade school. In fifth grade, I became an aunt to my niece and was (am) very involved in her life. Seeing the difference teachers made for my niece made me want to make that same difference.
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: What I enjoy about the College of Education is how many genuine and caring professors there are.
Q: Do you have a favorite professor or course? Why?
A: My favorite professor is Amal Elassi because she is so sweet and has such a pure heart. She always brings such positive energy and a smile that brightens up the room (in person and virtually). I enjoy our conversations in and outside of the classroom. She is very passionate about what she is studying and teaching. I appreciate the time she takes to make class meaningful.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I have seen every season of Survivor at least once.
Q: Tell us about any research you've done and the mentorship you've received from your instructors.
A: In Spring 2019, I did research on the benefits and drawbacks of eTexts. My Italian professor was interested in transitioning from physical textbooks to textbooks online. Therefore, I worked with her to write a bibliographical review on the controversy regarding eTexts. In Fall of 2019, I worked with my Math professor to do a research project on procedural versus conceptual knowledge. I read the interesting book "Knowing & Teaching Elementary Mathematics" by Liping Ma and conducted interviews with a few elementary students to report back my thoughts, data and critiques.
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