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Student Experience: Q&A with Teacher Candidate Alexandra Trunnell

Alexandra Trunnell

Where are you from?
Northern Kentucky

What is your favorite thing to do in Boston/Cambridge?
Go ice skating by the river or take a walk along the Esplanade!

What is your science or math background?
I was a physics and astronomy double major at Vassar College and graduated with honors in astronomy. My undergraduate senior thesis was on Exoplanet Transit Timing Variations!

Why did you choose the WW Academy?
The Academy appealed to me because of its promise of a new kind of education: one that walked the talk and utilized learning science in addition to teaching about it. I was also drawn to the ability to help shape this new program and have my voice heard, and to move through at my own pace while getting credit for past experiences and already existing skills I may have.

What has been the best part about your time at the WW Academy so far?
The people! Our staff is completely incredible, the teacher candidates (TCs) are diverse and interesting, and the best part of the Academy is getting to interact with so many brilliant and amazing people.

What do you hope to do after you complete your M.Ed. at the WW Academy?
My ultimate goal is to help be a voice for astronomy. I believe that we are entering an amazing time in astronomy and space science, and that having scientists who are trained educators and can articulate what exactly the science means will be more crucial than ever. So, upon completion of my M.Ed., I hope to further my Astronomy education in order to fulfill this goal.

Why should others consider the WW Academy program?
The Academy is a truly special place. My voice is consistently heard, I have made incredible friends, and I am surrounded by brilliant people. The Academy is a place to learn about education in a holistic and modern way, and to really push yourself to think about not only education but also everything surrounding it. It is a place to learn but also a place to grow, and there isn’t another school like it.

How is the program shaping your idea of what it means to be a good teacher?
The Academy is not just teaching learning science, but is embodying it. As a TC, I get to learn in the same ways I hope to teach my own students some day: with agency, freedom, and challenge. This allows me to experience good teaching first hand. The Academy also provides opportunities for us to observe many different teachers in many different settings, as well as to try out teaching in different settings for ourselves. This lets us test our own perceptions of good teaching and really become the best teachers we can be.

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We’re a new kind of teacher education program, one that is tailored to your skills and knowledge, focusing on what you need to know and be able to do as a teacher in a real-world classroom. By earning your M.Ed. from the Woodrow Wilson Academy you’ll enter the teaching profession well prepared to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms—and to shape tomorrow’s classrooms, too.

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