Alpaslan Özdoğan: Becoming A Teacher
May 2, 2022
I finished my master’s in Mathematics Education in New York. I am currently A graduate student at Seton Hall University.
I came from a “teacher” family. My dad was a retired principal. My uncle is a principal and both of my brothers were teachers. Although one of my brothers’ majored in engineering, he decided to switch his career to teaching. So, teaching was a passion in the family. I admired my dad and my family members. I think that is one of the reasons why I decided to become a teacher. Math is also one of the stronger subjects in my family. So, this motivated me to pursue my college career in Math.
PASE is my first public school experience. I used to work in a charter school. A friend of mine who had worked in Prep Academy mentioned this school and I wanted to experience a larger public school environment. I applied and I ended up teaching at PASE. This is my second year teaching here.
A struggle that came with becoming a teacher was the environment. I used to work in an inner-city school setting. My first two years of teaching were challenging for a couple of reasons: I worked in a school where poverty, socio-economic, and discipline issues were a major concern.
How did I overcome those challenges?
I took the time to get the know my students and families. I knew that working in such an environment would not be easy, but I loved what I was doing. I was and still am passionate about teaching. I was not teaching just for the sake of the paycheck itself. Making a positive impact on a young mind was more important than that. Once students got to know my caring personality along with my sense of humor, they became more comfortable and demonstrated a better performance in my classes. They knew that we were on the same side and assisting each other. I worked with the same student groups for 2 years and during this period, we built a great relationship.
My experience with PASE? It has been great so far!