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Teacher Feature: Jason Schrepel
B.S. in Elementary Education (2011)
Current School Site:
Union Eighth Grade Center (Union Public Schools in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma)
Eighth grade mathematics
Number of Years Teaching:
Why did you decide to become an educator?
While I was at OSU, I often tutored high school and middle school students in math, chemistry and physics. I was shocked at how many students didn’t have a firm grasp on the fundamental concepts of math, so I decided to teach middle school in hopes that I could help students make sense of math before they went on to high school and college.
How has your OSU degree changed your approach to teaching?
My experience at Oklahoma State taught me to be very reflective in my approach to what I thought teaching was all about. It also opened my eyes to the struggles many Oklahoma students face on a daily basis, such as poverty, bullying and other issues. My degree has equipped me with strategies needed to help students overcome these struggles and achieve their goals.
What are some of the strategies you deploy in the classroom?
In my classroom, we value every answer and work to bring every student into the discussion. Valuing different learning approaches helps build students’ confidence and sets the tone for the classroom. This approach was instilled in me by a professor at OSU, and it contributed to my receiving an Exemplary Educator Award from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
In 2015-16, you were named Union Teacher of the Year. What was your reaction to this recognition?
I was shocked and honored! There are times in every teacher’s career when you question whether or not you are doing it right. This award gave me reassurance that people recognize my efforts and students are benefiting from all the hard work.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in education?
I would encourage every future educator to be open minded and follow the research. It’s important for educators to change with the times, so they can best lead their students to success. Rather than operating under the mentality that there is only one right way, we should be life-long learners who are open to new ideas and new ways of doing this that will most benefit our students.
Why is it important to fund public education?
It’s so much more than just textbooks, paper and pencils. Funding education allows students to learn. Schools are where students learn who they want to be, and schools are where students are encouraged and supported to follow their dreams. I want to ensure we have the resources we need to continue supporting and encouraging students to learn.
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