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Featuring Cassandra (Cisek) Doggrell '08

Cassandra Doggrell

Position: Elementary Autistic Support Teacher

School: Seneca Valley School District

Location: Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania

Information on Cassandra's graduate school experience

Graduate School: Waynesburg University (M.Ed.); Duquesne University (MS)

Graduate Program: Master of Education in Special Education; Master of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision

(Profiled: November 2011)

 

♦  How did you connect with this job opportunity?

♦  What attracted you to this position?

♦  What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?

♦  What was your biggest challenge as a first-year teacher?

♦  How did your time at GCC prepare you for the teaching field?

♦  What advice would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?

♦  What job search tips would you give to GCC students?

 

How did you connect with this job opportunity?
My initial connection with this job opportunity came through a district screening interview. I became aware of the screening interview from a screening interview flier posted by the district on the district website. After the screening interview I moved further into the interview process and completed three different interviews. Several special education positions were open and through the interview process the district administrators offered me the position they felt best fit my experience and abilities.

What attracted you to this position?
I was attracted to a special education teaching position because the role of the special educator involves creativity within a framework of structure and organization. Additionally, the position requires fostering collaboration and serving as a resource for colleagues, parents, and community members. I felt that the position aligned with my strengths and my calling to give the supports and services to ensure that I am providing for all of my students’ educational needs.

What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?
I feel that the rewards come from making progress where no one else has been able to make progress before and then having the students see the possibilities and experience success. Teaching special education is truly a service career and it is gratifying and enriching to me to serve my students.

What was your biggest challenge as a first-year teacher?
The greatest challenge I faced during my first year of teaching was learning to prioritize the demands of teaching and becoming flexible with the idea that priorities change depending on student needs and educational initiatives. This is something I still am growing with since education, especially special education, is a field that is ever changing.

How did your time at GCC prepare you for the teaching field?
My time at Grove City College created and fostered my inherent passions for education. My schooling at Grove City College benefited my teaching by building my fundamental beliefs, developing my collaboration skills, enhancing my work ethic, and fostering my teaching style. My skills, style, and knowledge were blended together and shaped through course work, field experiences, student teaching, and campus organizations. After graduation I was able to effectively apply my passions and knowledge in various teaching positions and in further educational studies.

What advice would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?
When discussing the career field with a pre-service teacher, I would encourage them to embark on the journey of teaching those with disabilities. I think you need to see that the journey is going to be a series of small steps. You’ve got to be able to see the big picture and the small picture and not be frightened by great challenges. I would stress it is essential to be comfortable with teaching students with disabilities and to enjoy what you are doing overall. Also, I would tell someone not to take things personally since students have a history of issues and the greatest efforts are not always achieved. I would really encourage them to think that working with people with disabilities is a sign of optimism because you feel like people deserve something good.

What job search tips would you give to GCC students?
My tips for success during the job search process include:
♦  Gaining diverse and numerous experiences
♦  Obtaining multiple certifications
♦  Researching school districts regarding philosophy and curriculum
♦  Making connections with current teachers and administrators
♦  Researching all possible interview opportunities
♦  Practicing possible interview questions and responses
♦  Staying persistent, professional, and positive


                                      

More information about Cassandra's graduate school experience

 

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Maintained By: Deb Snyder | Last Updated: August 2014