UHart’s English Secondary Education Program Helped Alumna Create Her Own Teaching Style

Allison Wheeler

Allison Wheeler ‘17, says the English Secondary Education program at UHart prepared her tremendously for her position as writing teacher for grades 6-8 at St. James School in Stratford, Connecticut.

“Being in a classroom from day one is very beneficial to getting you used to what a real classroom is like,” she says, about the job shadow experience that all English Secondary Education students complete in their first year. “It’s always really helpful to see different teaching styles. This way I was able to learn different techniques and create a style that is all my own.”

Wheeler transferred to UHart in her sophomore year and says she was able to catch up in her studies through hard work in rigorous classes with professors who pushed her to her full potential. She says completing her student teaching at Farmington High School helped her grow, and acknowledges that UHart Clinical/Applied Professor of English Julie Sochacki helped her become the best teacher she can be. “You can see that she genuinely cares and puts her all into teaching you all the wonderful things she knows about education.”

Wheeler, who also teaches vocabulary and grammar, says the different techniques and strategies that she learned at UHart is what she still falls back on to this day. “I find myself, even after almost three years, looking at material from college to help me plan something for my students. The voices of my professors are still guiding me through certain situations and tasks. I have to be honest when I say that I loved everything about UHart! Everyone there is so supportive in wanting you to succeed to help you make it through shadowing, student teaching, and even helping you find a job.”

Her advice to new UHart students studying English Secondary Education is to be involved in your studies and focus on the things you love. “Bringing your own spin to your classroom and your own expertise and interests helps you teach in your own special way.”

Bringing your own spin to your classroom and your own expertise and interests helps you teach in your own special way.

Allison Wheeler ‘17, Writing Teacher, St. James School, Stratford, Conn.