After volunteering with the Peace Corps in Ukraine for three years, St. John’s graduate student Steven Senteney returned to the United States with a new direction in life.
Steven’s service with the Peace Corps began in 2003, after a friend who had also joined the Peace Corps urged him to volunteer, “I always wanted to travel and work abroad to learn about another culture, so it was perfect timing for me. Living and working in Ukraine was a wonderful experience. I volunteered as an ESL instructor and taught students from the fourth grade through high school how to read and write English. Although it was my first teaching experience, I fell in love with it.”
It was then that Steven decided he would become a teacher. Steven enrolled in St. John’s School of Education’s career change program. With an undergraduate degree in recreation from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Steven needed a graduate education program with a great reputation designed specifically for individuals who were not education majors in college – St. John’s offered him both.
“The career change program has been a great experience - the class sizes are perfect and the faculty at The School of Education are wonderful. Any time I have a question or need help from my professors or staff at the University, they help me in any way that they can. I know that everything I’m learning will be helpful to me in my future career as an educator.”
Once he graduates with his master’s in education in 2010, Steven plans to teach elementary school children. His previous experiences working with students at this grade level prepared him to work with students at this age. “I find students at this grade level to be the most fun to work with. When they finally understand something that I have taught them, it is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.”
Steven believes an education from St. John’s is essential for a successful career in education, “The skills that I have been taught, the examples that I have been given by my instructors – these are the things that will help me become a better teacher.”