Sasha Davis, SWW Alum (now Bowdoin ’13)

Posted on: March 1st, 2013 by Jennifer Boulanger

2013-SashaDavis

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

I came to Bowdoin with the intention of taking some education courses, but I definitely was not totally committed to the idea of being involved in education long term after graduation. In fact, I was the classic first-year liberal arts student in my quest for a major and a pathway to a potential occupation—I went from wanting to be a doctor, to a physician’s assistant, to a lawyer, to a researcher and analyst at a think tank, and I’m probably even leaving a few of out. I took classes in all different departments until it came time for me to declare my major (Government and Legal Studies), but all during that colorful journey to my eventual decision, I was enrolled in education classes.

My Education 101 class first captivated me in the fall semester of my freshman year. A graduate of a public magnet school in the DC Public School System, I came to Bowdoin full of opinions about public education. I thought I knew all the answers, but this class forced me to employ critical thinking and analysis skills I never even thought could be used to understand public education and the reasons why it is the way it is today. I continued on in my classes after 101 and fell in love with the on-site classroom components in the teaching courses I continued to take. I found that not only did I love reading about public education, classroom experiences and pedagogy, and learning differences, but I also lit up when I was given a chance to actively participate and observe in middle school classrooms.

It was through this seamless blend between theory and practice that I was able to identify my passion at Bowdoin. I love theory and the breakthrough moments that happen in class when I start to fully understand the concepts being discussed in lecture and seminar-style conversations, but I am truly addicted to taking that theory and applying it in middle school classrooms. Bowdoin’s education program creates a safe space for emerging teachers to not only learn the methods and practical skills of effective classroom instruction, but it also prepares them with a sound theoretical background I find necessary to being successful in a classroom.

Right now, the only plan that is for certain is that I am graduating in the spring. I am looking at and have applied to a couple of different certification and Masters in Teaching programs in New England. While my immediate future plans will be up in the air until April, I do know that I plan on returning to a city and becoming a middle school teacher in an urban school district in the near future. 13-year-old-me would have rolled her eyes and laughed if I told her now that 21-year-old-me wanted to be a middle school teacher, but I cannot imagine working with any other age group or any in any other capacity other than teaching right now.