Blake, Education, AAOT

photo of Blake on top of a mountainBlake enrolled at Lane Community College with the goal to become an elementary school teacher. Although he really had no idea what it would be like, he recalled his memories of grade school, some twenty years ago. He realized he needed to gain as much experience in the classroom as possible. Lane’s internship program placed him with a fourth grade class taught by Mrs. Anstine in a local school. She answered all of his questions and helped Blake understand what an elementary teacher does on a daily basis. As a result, he is even more determined to finish his studies and become a teacher.

Blake’s greatest success was overcoming the fear of going to school. School was not easy for him growing up. He remembers countless hours spent with his parents or a tutor working on his homework. The idea of going back to school was terrifying, especially after a ten-year break. With the support of friends and family, he found the courage to enroll at and attend Lane. To his astonishment, he found school to be manageable and, at times, fun.

Blake’s personal strategies for success include time management, talking to instructors, and using the library services. Every Sunday, he writes out both his school and work schedules for the week. This tells him how much time he has available for homework and his personal life. He reviews the syllabus for important dates and looks at what homework assignments are due that week. He also makes time to meet with his teachers during their office hours. He gets answers to his questions and builds relationships with his teachers. He prefers to study in the library because of not only the computers and printers but also the staff is friendly and helpful.

Blake plans to graduate from Lane and receive his AAOT degree in June 2015. Then he will pursue an education degree from either the University of Oregon or Pacific University. Ultimately, he would love to teach in Eugene.

Over the past school year, Blake has learned what he is capable of and has developed a high standard for himself. His advice to students is “Always strive to perform to the best of your standards.”