Kate Sweeney is a mom, a full-time employee, and a current Avila student in the Master of Arts in Education program. She earned her initial teaching certification from Avila in 2020 and continued toward her master’s.
Sweeney is currently an ELA and Impact Academy Instructor at Guadalupe Centers High School. Sweeney said she would love to someday work as an instructional coach or a college education professor to, “help cultivate an even more diverse group of future educators.
Carnes is now a Journalism teacher at Park Hill High School in the Park Hill School District.
Why were Avila and their education program the right fit for you?
What I loved about Avila was the ability to take classes on my schedule. While eight-week courses are a challenge, they are rewarding and easy to pair with being a mom and working full time. I loved the small class sizes that allowed for really meaningful conversations with my peers and professors. I got to know so many people throughout the program and feel like I have a network of support that can extend out past graduation. There is a lot of real-world experience that gets shared and I appreciated the honesty present in the classroom spaces.
What would you tell a friend who is considering a similar career path about Avila’s program?
After attending Avila, I felt confident that I had a solid foundation to start teaching. The connections I developed and the reputation of the program helped me get noticed when I applied for jobs. The experiences I had while taking classes at Avila gave me experience that helped me grow. I have attended several universities throughout my post-secondary education journey and Avila is by far the best across the board.
How has your Avila education prepared your career?
The thoughtful fieldwork placements and solid pedagogical foundation I got at Avila put me in an amazing place. The new teacher course was an amazing resource as I tackled not only my first year of teaching but also teaching during a pandemic. It gave me confidence. I credit that to the honesty of the program and its push for us to be the best educators we could be. Even when it’s hard to hear feedback, it’s coming from a positive place. I carried that positive feedback mindset into my school.
Who at Avila did you form good relationships with during your studies? How did they assist you?
Professor McLean inspired me to be the best educator I can be and pushed me every step of the way. She is a perfect example of how to develop meaningful relationships with your students that foster their learning. She got to know me as a person and how my story impacted my journey to teaching. She allowed us to have purposeful and constructive conversations. She has become someone I model my teaching after and aspire to be more like every day.
That being said, there are countless other staff and faculty members who did the same for me. Every day I attended class, I felt valued and pushed to be the best teacher I possibly could be. I did more deep thinking in their classrooms than I ever have in an education setting. I am so grateful to all of them for the knowledge they shared.