Personal Statement

The goal of a teacher is to create peers.  Few get to see the fruits of their labors.

I came to Virginia Commonwealth University to become a sociological researcher.  When I was first in community college I was looking for in-state universities that offered a bachelor’s of science degree for sociology. VCU was one of two that I could find and was also the one in a larger urban setting, so getting to Richmond from Fairfax became a goal of mine.  Once here I continued to ace my sociology and anthropology courses. I decided to minor in philosophy and excelled there as well. I graduated with honors and then worked a semester at Henrico County Public Schools.

Now in graduate school I seek to expand my understanding of our education policies, the methods educators use, and the impacts our social institutions have and receive from the education system. These reciprocal impacts need more sociological study as there is a dispersed body of literature across many disciplines that are focused on their niche but not a collective look.  This collective look is important because the classroom is a regular source of socialization for children and helps guide them towards their future contributions in society. My focus for graduate school will be on student perception and reactions to teachers.

This will form a baseline for me to further explore how student-teacher interaction form student outcomes. Also, examine how other aspects of our daily lives are impacted outwards from the social and academic performances that take place in the classroom.  How much do systemic decisions by school boards and other governmental bodies affect a teacher’s decisions in education or a student’s ability to learn?  What can be changed to improve teaching and learning beyond increases in funding?  How do we ensure that school receives at least enough to maintain their facilities? How do we make school and learning a vital part of American culture? It is my desire to seek out intersectional and interdisciplinary answers to these and many other questions regarding our education system and methods.

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