Rachelle Mosholder is a kindergarten teacher and an alumna of the AUS Masters in Education program. She decided to attend Antioch after researching programs and speaking to people she respects in the field of education. “Antioch’s rich history and focus on social justice was the determining factor,” she said. “I could have spent less time and money and earned my certification. I chose Antioch so I could bring myself to the next level, receive a comprehensive educational experience, and really be of service to my students!”
Because of the rigorous course schedule, she remembers feeling like she was growing and learning at a fast pace. She also remembers balancing the rest of her life and making time for self-care was a challenge, and offers advice to current and future students. “MAKE the time!” she said. “Dedicating every ounce of effort I had into lesson plans, projects, internships, capstone, edTPA, all of the above, means you need time to decompress. It’s a special time when grad school will be your life – everything else is on the back burner. BUT: it is temporary, and makes you grow ten-fold. Despite the many tears, it was so worth it! Advice: 1. Accept help and support. Lean on those you love and accept help even if you aren’t used to it, and it makes you uncomfortable. If you are writing your capstone for 10 hours one day, let a family member walk your dog. Overwhelmed with projects and lesson plans? Let a friend bring you dinner. Accept help. I feel like this is the one time in your life where you need it most. 2. Utilize your cohort. You become so very close, so fast. Lean on them. Work together. They are the only people in the world that know what you are going through, day by day, week by week, month by month. You throw like-minded strangers in a room and magic happens. Every person brings profoundly different life experiences, and together, you have knowledge, perspective and insight that is beyond what you could imagine! It is truly special.”
The most rewarding aspects of the program for Mosholder were the friendships cultivated in our cohort, the support from staff, close relationships with professors, and hands-on field experience from day one. Also, once she graduated, she moved up the teacher pay scale by a significant amount. She feels that her knowledge increased by leaps and bounds while at Antioch, and she that she has more strategies and understanding for her students as a result of her education.
Mosholder ’s personal teaching philosophy is very much in alignment with the social justice focus of Antioch. She is motivated by a need she sees in the world for teachers who are equitable and aware. “My teaching philosophy is centered around a strong focus on the quality of the teacher-student relationship, holding students to high expectations, and genuinely caring about students,” she said. “The discrepancies between students and their prospective futures, based on factors including race, religion, socioeconomic status, background, etc, must be addressed by teachers who care.”
Mosholder loves her work as a teacher and copes with challenges with the same attention to self-care she cultivated in graduate school. “What I enjoy about my job most is the kiddos, she said. They are bright, creative and genuine people who see you for who you are. I cope with challenges by leaning on my grade-level team, administration and my fellow teacher friends (cohort-members and former mentor teachers!). Outside of school, I am fortunate to have support from friends and family. I also make sure to take time to have ‘me’ time – walking my dog, taking care of my horse, taking a nap, just getting out of my head and enjoying each day.”