Friday, August 10, 2012

Moving On.....Catching up with 2012 Graduate Mackenzie Crooks

As our 2012 Student Teachers graduated from Penn State on May 5th, many of them had no idea what the future would bring. Now, as summer reaches its climax, many of them now have some idea of where their lives are heading. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will showcase some of our graduates and update you on where they are heading. In this weeks edition, we follow up with Mackenzie Crooks!

Ms. Crooks (top left) with her FFA Officers and other teachers of the Lebanon HS Agriculture Department. 
Mackenzie, a native of Irwin, PA, was a great addition to the class of 2012. She completed her student teaching experience under the guidance of Mr. Kyle Norman at Brockway High School. We asked Mackenzie some questions about her experiences at Penn State and what she is looking forward to in the future.

a)     Why did you choose this school to teach at?
I chose this school [ Lebanon High School] because it had everything I was looking for in a program.  The ag department is fairly new and one of the largest ones in the state of Indiana.  I set out looking for a multi-teacher program so I would have guidance from more experienced educators during my first (and most challenging) year of teaching.  I also liked that it was a newer program.  The department head is amazing and takes all of my ideas into consideration and has even used a few of them.  

b)     What are you most excited about for the upcoming year?
I am excited to have my own classroom and students!  This year will be challenging since the school is under construction and I have to switch rooms half way through the school year.  But I am probably most excited for the new greenhouse that is being built.  I will be the person in charge of over seeing it, and the administration has set the expectation bar high.  I have a lot of great ideas to try with the greenhouse and cannot wait to get in there.

c)      What advice do you have to the student teachers of next year about the Job Search?
The job search can be a very tedious thing, but stick with it.  Keep an open mind to moving somewhere new, and don't limit yourself to one area.  There are a TON of possibilities out there for you; you just have to find them!

d)     Did you feel prepared for the Job Search Process?
I felt very prepared for the job search process.  The last week that we spent at Penn State really helped me to gain the confidence that I needed to succeed in finding the right job.  The mock interviews were extremely helpful.

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