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Interview with Karla

Any background information which you would like to share…

Karla, ACT! Graduate

Karla completed the act!
program in 2008 and
currently teaches high school.

My background is in environmental education. I enjoyed working outdoors as a State Park Naturalist in Door County for 2 summers. During graduate school at UW-SP, I was an educator at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station where I loved working with K-12 students, teachers, and summer campers on outdoor skills and environmental concepts. After I finished my degree, I taught Biology and Environmental Science at UW-Fond du Lac for 3 semesters.

Why did you choose to change your career to secondary teaching in math or science?

I didn't always know that I was going to be a teacher.  Although I enjoyed teaching at the University, tenure-track positions in science were not an option for someone with a Master’s degree. I wanted a long term career in a community in which I could make a difference. I knew I loved science and I really enjoyed being an educator… but what job could I do?  It was one of those “Should've had a V-8” moments when I came to the realization that I wanted be a science teacher!

Why did you choose the act! program?

I initially chose the act! program because UW-SP was going to require me to take 30+ undergraduate credits to obtain my teaching license. After meeting with Dr. Tammy Ladwig, I learned that the act! program honored my undergraduate and graduate coursework. The classes I did need to take were offered online and at convenient times. Dr's. Ladwig and Michael Beeth where extremely helpful in answering my questions about courses, portfolio, and student teaching.

What is your current profession?

I teach High School Biology at Stevens Point Area Senior High.

How are you feeling about your decision to change professions?

Although I have always been an active environmental educator, this is my first experience with formal education. I have found that I am still able to take students outdoors for learning activities and that the students enjoy learning in this way. I am extremely happy with my decision and I truly enjoy my subject area, students, and colleagues.

What is the best part of the act! program and the alternative pathway to licensure?

The best part of the act! program was that the advisors honored my undergraduate and graduate coursework. I took only courses required for the licensure. This saved me money and time yet prepared me begin my career in teaching.

What has been the most challenging component of licensure?

Honestly, nothing. My portfolio went smoothly, the courses were helpful, & my student teaching experience was fantastic.