If Jorge Cecilio ’14 had stayed with his original plan, he would be recovering from tax season right now, instead of getting ready to receive his master’s degree in curricular instruction from the School of Education.
“The plan was my brother is an accountant, and I have a brother-in-law who is an accountant, and we were all going to get our CPA licenses and start our own business,” he said. “I was studying to do the GMAT to get into a master’s program and at same time preparing for the CPA exam.”
His wife, Amy, is a teacher, and after noticing that he “wasn’t necessarily happy” with his current career, urged him to consider teaching. He had heard good things about Redlands, and chose the School of Education for his credential.
“It’s hard to explain, but it was inspirational,” he said. “It opened up a life changing experience, and I learned more about myself than I learned about teaching. It was what I was really meant to do in life, and I continued on for my master’s.”
Cecilio decided to get his master’s in curricular instruction, and enjoyed the camaraderie he had with the other members of his cohort.
“It’s been great, and a completely different experience from any other learning environment I’ve been in,” he said. “I attribute a lot of the successes I’m having from the cohort and the way they have the system in place and the ways the teachers teach. It’s not so much filling you with information as they are making you like learning once again. This is the first time I’ve actually liked to learn in my life.”
Cecilio is an algebra teacher at Redlands High School, and finds that “the teaching experience has been very rewarding and emotional at the same time. From teacher to teacher, it depends on how you connect with your students, and I try to connect.”
He is looking forward to using his newfound knowledge to further educate his students and connect with his colleagues and administrators.
“I really felt like I needed help on how to design curriculum and be a better teacher,” he said. “The University of Redlands is a very well respected school, especially in education, and that allowed me to hit the ground running. I became highly regarded by the administration and district, all based on what I learned in the program. If I had gone somewhere else, I wouldn’t have gotten these opportunities.”
Written by: Catherine Garcia