Alumna spends the school year mastering the classroom

May 31, 2023

Headshot of alumna Emily Buckman

Emily Buckman ’22, MS ’23, had no intention of stopping her studies after walking across the Commencement stage earlier this month.

After graduating with an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master's in elementary education from the 4+1 dual-degree program, Buckman acquired a sense of passion and excitement for being inside the classroom.

She is now continuing her teaching pursuit this summer at Side by Side, a public charter school in South Norwalk, Connecticut, finishing out the year as a resident intern in a second-grade classroom and gaining exposure in special education.

“The residency is a little different than the typical internship you complete in your fifth year because instead of being the school's building substitute leading up to your student teaching and after, I have been with the same class all year long,” said Buckman. “I was able to sit alongside my mentor teacher during back-to-school nights and parent-teacher conferences, plan and attend field trips, plan and conduct lessons outside of the 10-week student teaching period and observe the daily responsibilities of teachers before, during and after the school day.”

Side by Side’s mission as a small, tight-knit school is to emphasize community, tolerance and social justice, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to succeed with their voice being heard, she said.

“My favorite part of my experience at Side by Side was being able to build strong relationships with students and faculty in the community, this was one of the most rewarding parts of this experience,” she said. “Additionally, being able to see the daily responsibilities of a teacher from the beginning of the school year until the end was a huge part of my learning experience as a future teacher.”

Buckman remembers first securing the position at the beginning of her senior year at Quinnipiac when Side by Side’s principal and her now mentor teacher gave a presentation.

“It was at that moment when I thought the residency model might be a great opportunity for my own learning experience. I then went to tour and interview at the school and decided it was a great fit for me,” she said.

Buckman thanks her professors in the School of Education as well as alumni for being so supportive and available for her while she made the decision.

“This experience has helped shape me into the teacher I will be for the rest of my career,” she said. “I couldn't have asked for a better experience for my fifth year in the education program. If you are worried about the commute, it is not bad at all I promise, I actually have found a new love for taking the train.”

The school year coming to an end has become bittersweet for Buckman, saying goodbye to her students being the hardest part.

“Leaving the students and the school is going to be tough, but this learning experience was one that went beyond my expectations and is something I will never forget,” she said.

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