Being a High School Science teacher
Leslea Strauss’18 was an Education and Youth Studies: Adolescents in Schools and Environmental Biology double major. She was involved heavily in both departments as a teaching assistant, and in the writing center as a tutor. Leslea was also an active member of the Alpha Sigma Tau (AST) sorority and Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA).
Knowing that she wanted to be a teacher for a long time, Leslea said that declaring an EDYS major seemed to be the logical path! She also was attracted to the idea of being able to have her teaching license after her Beloit undergrad. To Leslea, being an EDYS major really gave her a lot of insights into the community of Beloit, which she so appreciated. Similar to many students, Leslea said that classes at Beloit challenged their perceptions to get out of their own bubbles.
Yaffa Grossman and Jingjing Lou were both active supporters for Leslea during and after her time at Beloit. They helped her navigate the academic minutia of her majors and helped her to find career-advancing internships. Leslea also shared that Amy Mehltretter, her cooperating teacher during her student teaching at Beloit Memorial High School, was also a great mentor.
Leslea is now working as a Science Teacher at Oak Creek High School in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. She teaches five sections of 10th-grade biology and covers everything from experimental design to ecology. Leslea is also the advisor for the school’s Environmental Club. She shared that a favorite part of her job is interacting with her students! Leslea loves being able to have her students for an entire year because she can really work on building meaningful relationships with them.
Want to become a science teacher? Here is some advice from Leslea:
“Ask questions! Use Jingjing and your cooperating teacher(s) to your advantage. They are here to help you and guide you. Do not be scared if things do not go well during this time; it is not a direct reflection of how you will be later in your career. Also, if you want to go directly into your first year of teaching, start applying as early as you can. It takes a huge weight off of your shoulders.
Reach out to professors while you are still at Beloit or to friends who are in the major. Everyone in the department is friendly and dedicated to student success. Once you graduate, don’t lose touch! Update the department about your successes and offer to provide advice to current majors. If you have time, offer to read over some edTPA drafts or speak about job hunting. It all helps!”