Founding Kindergarten Teacher
Erica Steinitz
Employer: KIPP Austin Public Schools

Position description:
I teach traditionally under-served and at-risk students in a kindergarten classroom. The students are at a dual language school where they spend half their day learning in English and half their day learning in Spanish. KIPP Austin prepares students to attend college and complete a degree.

Photo: Erica Steinitz
How They Got There
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Undergrad degree:  Child Development and Peace and Justice Studies (B.A.)

Favorite class in college:  School and Society

Changing majors:  I made many changes to my majors in my freshman year; for example, I tried to be on track for pre-med, and then pre-law. By the time I declared my major at the end of my sophomore year, however, I knew that child development and peace and justice studies were the right fit for me.

Graduate degree:  Masters in Multicultural Special Education. I choose this program because I wanted to be better prepared to teach the students in my class. I also wanted to put myself on track to move up into administrative roles in the future.

College to career: 

It was difficult at first to make the transition from college to career. I interviewed many, many places before finding my first job. In the few years following, I continued interviewing and searching in order to find the best fit for myself.

The connections and relationships I made with my professors during my undergraduate education were tremendously helpful when pursuing my career. Even if they did not know someone to put me in touch with, their individualized advice was invaluable. My undergraduate degree prepared me more than adequately for my job and set me up for success.

The Ups and Downs
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Pro: The job is very rewarding and I am part of a true work community. The other staff members are supportive and have become my friends and family. There are many opportunities for leadership growth, as well as learning opportunities.

Cons: It is a very long work day, and there are many expectations that I need to meet and keep up with.

Overall, it is well worth it!!



Recommendations
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Learn a foreign language!

Don't give up when making the transition from college to career. It can be challenging, but something that is a good fit for you is out there.



Interested in This Career?
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