Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Moving On....Following up with 2012 Graduate Kristie Folk

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. Next up....Kristie Folk

Kristie, a former State FFA officer, is a bright spot for the class of 2012. Her enthusiasm for Agricultural Education was infectious among her peers.  In the fall, she will be the full-time Ag Teacher at United High School in Armaugh, PA in Indiana County. (Of note, Kristie did her student teaching at United as well under the guidance of Ms. Cristen Black.) We asked Kristie some questions about her experiences at Penn State and what she is looking forward to in the future. 

1) Why did you choose United High School to teach at?
I chose to teach at United High School in Armagh, PA where I did my student teaching. It just so happened my cooperating teacher, mentor and friend, Mrs. Cristen Black, got a job in Kansas and I applied for the position at United. After two rounds of interviews with other amazing candidates, I was selected to teach at United. I love the school district, its location, the faculty/staff, and most of all the students. It is a very rural area with students who are excited about agriculture. The faculty / staff are friendly and willing to help whenever they can. Overall, I chose to teach at United because it is a small, rural school district with great students and faculty. 

2) What are you most excited about for the upcoming year?
I am most excited about having my own program and trying to increase FFA membership. I am excited about learning new things (about my new program) and trying new things. I am sure there is going to be some trials and stress of taking over a program and learning how things are done; however, I will have two aids, who are excited to help me grow as an educator.  

3)What advice do you have to the student teachers of next year about the Job Search?
DO NOT BE AFRAID! Nerves are normal….but even if you don’t land the first job you apply for; know it was a learning process. Not all jobs will open up right in front of your eyes like the one at United did for me. In fact, it is not likely. I still applied for the job knowing it was a possibility that I would not land the job, even though I did my student teaching there. I looked at it as being in the right place at the right time and that it just worked out for me.  The world of job hunting is scary but if you are willing to travel/move/see the world, the possibilities are endless. Also, put a serious effort into your portfolio and the mock interviews that you will do during the last 2 weeks after student teaching. They will  help you! Last, but not, least, contact some of us who have gone through interviews. We can tell you what we know/remember and offer our thoughts to help you out. 

4) Did you feel prepared for the Job Search Process?
 At first, I was nervous about the “job hunt,” but I did feel prepared.  I reviewed my portfolio and thought about possible questions the interviewers could ask me. After the first interview, I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment. I felt prepared to enter the next round of interviews if I made it that far.  The overall “job hunt” was not nearly as scary as I had made it out in my head. Overall, I felt prepared for the job search process and knowing that if I needed anything, I could contact Dr. Foster, Dr. Ewing, Renee, Trish or anyone in the department. 

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