My name is Vanessa Ruiz and back in the Spring of 2009, I transferred to Tech and spent three very driven years pursuing my undergraduate degree in Child Development and Family Relationships. I chose to go back to Tech one year later and work towards my teaching license in Family and Consumer Science (FACS). In May of 2014, I felt so accomplished when I finished student teaching, the new edTPA version, and started applying for jobs as a teacher! There was no greater feeling than knowing I had opened up a new pool of opportunity for myself by going back to get my license. No, being a FACS teacher was never what I had imagined when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I did grow to love FACS as an adult, and could not picture myself teaching anything else.
Currently, I am a Family and Consumer Science teacher at Kenny C. Guinn Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yes, that’s right, Las Vegas! I work in the fifth largest district in the United States. Coming from Putnam County, I’d say that is the definition of a culture shock. A bit of advice I can offer a first year teacher is not to stress! Be cool and calm. Teaching is an ongoing process regardless of the level of experience. Ask your colleagues if you are unsure of something. Also, master classroom management techniques. Until you’re in your own classroom dealing with troublesome behaviors, you never know what to expect or what you will do in the moment.
The Human Ecology faculty at Tech has greatly helped in my career preparation and continues to do so. I still keep in contact with my advisor from Tech and mentor teacher from student teaching at Monterey High School. For my second evaluation as a first year teacher, I called up my mentor for ideas on how to teach foodborne illness in a creative way with the use of technology. The advice I received gave me so much relief to the pressure of another evaluation. I was extremely pleased with the way it turned out.
I am proud to be a TTU alum and I am so happy with the career move I have made. Thanks to the amazing faculty and staff, mentors, advisors, and peers, I have been more than prepared for success in this next chapter of my life.