Sandra Garibay ’23 and Nery Garibay ’21 are two sisters who pursued programs within the School of Education. Though navigating two different programs, both of them wanted to give back to current School of Education Bulldogs by providing some words of wisdom for those currently in their programs.
I am in the PPS and k-12 school counseling track here at the University of Redlands. My experience at the U of R has been fundamental in forming my professional network, and in building my counseling skills. The diversity in professors allowed me to have meaningful discussions centered around educational issues from different perspectives and I gained new insight from it. My most memorable project was writing the thesis paper; it was the most challenging project of the program but once it was over it was so rewarding! For all future incoming school counseling students, I would say to brainstorm topics you are interested in so you can write your thesis centered around that, ask many questions, get involved, and take advantage of all the opportunities the U of R has to offer. This includes clubs like Graduate Student Association (GSA), attending school events, rallying your cohort to work together, and engaging in fieldwork opportunities.
I am a Class of 2021 graduate. I received my MA and teaching credential. My biggest advice for incoming students would be that student teaching can be tough depending on your mentor teacher. From my experience, I had a difficult mentor teacher and I had to conduct classes on zoom given the pandemic. In hindsight, my student teaching experience prepared me and helped me further develop into the educator that I am today. I would say to use all the challenges you face along the way to your advantage. I am currently a fourth-grade teacher and I feel passionate about my career because I am now the teacher that I wish I had throughout my education. I am creating those experiences and being relatable to my students.
As first-generation students, we both chose careers in the field of education due to our own k-12 experiences. We advocate and believe in the work we do because our students benefit from having first-generation graduates as educators. We are proud to be a bulldog family. Go bulldogs!