CEHD America Reads literacy mentor is driven to create a compassionate classroom

Jordyn Blomquist is a senior history major in the DirecTrack to Teaching program and a literacy mentor for CEHD America Reads. She plans to use her experience in both programs to help her as a teaching candidate and eventually, become a history teacher.

When did you join CEHD America Reads?

I joined America Reads fall of my freshman year.

What do you think has been the most valuable part of the program?

America Reads has been an instrumental part of my college experience! During my first year working there I was not an education major nor was I planning on pursuing a career as a teacher, but the work I was doing with the students made me feel truly excited and fulfilled. America Reads has allowed me to be incredibly active in Minneapolis schools and community centers and I am very grateful for the opportunities that have come from my job. Through my work I have been able to watch students grow and progress academically and emotionally, and I have been able to form relationships with them and those I work with.

Has your experience as a literacy mentor helped you in your learning as a pre-service teacher?

Being a literacy mentor has helped me greatly as a pre-service teacher since I am gaining exposure in schools and education programs while in my undergraduate program. America Reads has provided really great trainings on literacy and teaching techniques and I have been able to implement them through my work in ways I could never if I was not a literacy mentor.

What drove you to enroll in the DirecTrack to Teaching program?

I was inspired to enroll in the DirecTrack to Teaching program after I began my role as a Section Leader in the First Year Experience program through the College of Liberal Arts. I had always considered teaching as a possible profession, but when I was writing my first email to my section of freshmen it hit me that I really wanted to work where I can support and teach students. I changed my major the next day to history and I began to talk with Jehanne Beaton from DirecTrack soon after. I believe DirecTrack is a great opportunity for students since it allows us to be exposed to education classes while pursuing separate majors, and introduces us to the teaching profession through volunteer work in schools.

What do you hope to accomplish as a teacher?

I hope to create an open and supportive atmosphere in my classroom where my students feel welcome and excited to learn. I always felt so comfortable in school, and I want to allow my students to also feel understood and happy to be there. I hope as a teacher I can influence my students to be kind to themselves and others.

What has been your experience with the faculty?

I have had only positive experiences with the CEHD faculty. Everyone who I have met has been so kind and welcoming, and I love talking with my instructors and supervisors at America Reads.

What strengths will bring to the classroom?

I believe I will bring compassion and dedication to my classroom. Teaching is so much more that just lecturing information, and so I want to use my compassion to empathize with my students and help them have successful school years in and out of the classroom.  I will use dedication to provide the best lessons I can and ensure that each student is given the opportunities they need to thrive.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

Prior to enrolling in DirecTrack to teaching, I was not sure what exactly what I wanted to do post-graduation, but since realizing I want to become a teacher, I feel completely fulfilled. I love the work I do through America Reads, and I cannot recommend becoming a literacy mentor enough!

CEHD America Reads is hiring literacy mentors who have work-study awards. Apply today.

Find out how you can become a teacher through the DirecTrack to Teaching program.