Laura Peers

Masters Credential Cohort Program: Elementary Education

About Me

I grew up in the Bay Area and I have a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University. Before coming back to school for my master's I was in the marketing/PR industry. I lived in New York City doing online marketing for AT&T for over a year and decided that was no longer what I wanted in my life and I, instead, wanted to become a teacher. It has been a different but exciting new path for me!

What do you hope to do with your degree and credential?

I hope to teach elementary school... I love being interactive all day and I want to share the love I have for the subjects with others. Students bring out the best in me and I love the person I am in the classroom.

How did you hear about SOLES?

I heard about SOLES by doing research into all the schools I was interested in throughout California. I actually researched schools based on their location and where I wanted to live. San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco were my top choices, but I loved the layout of the program at USD and decided it was the best fit for me!

Tell us about any student teaching, practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES.

My first semester in the program I did a 75-hour practicum in a 4th grade class at High Tech Elementary in Chula Vista. It was my first experience in the field of education and I loved it. High Tech is a project-based learning school and our class’s project that semester was to make boats out of cardboard and tape that they actually took to the bay and sailed in. High Tech introduced me to the way of charter schools and I realized I would love to work at a project-based learning school. In Spring 2013 I was doing a part-time student teaching placement in a 3rd class at Chesterton Elementary School. Chesterton is 60% military families and it was interesting to see how this plays a role in the student’s life and how often students were moving in and out.

I am currently doing my full-time student teaching at PRIDE Academy in Santee. I am in a 2nd grade class and while it is exhausting, I love it. Because it is full-time, I am not working but rather attending school and student teaching.

I have loved my experiences so far and am so happy I decided to make this career change.

Tell us about any research you have done at SOLES.

I am currently enrolled in my first semester of Action Research and I am just beginning to figure out the idea and process behind it all!

How has your SOLES education impacted your career goals?

My SOLES education has completely changed the direction of my career. I came into this program with barely any educational background and SOLES has taught me so much about the teacher I want to be. My goals have gone from wanting promotions in a world of public relations to wanting to motivate students in my own classroom. I want to provide a safe environment for students and encourage them to excel in their education.

Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success?

There are two faculty members that have contributed significantly contributed to my success – Dr. Viviana Alexandrowicz and Dr. Nancy Hanssen.

Dr. Alexandrowicz has taught me so much about education and her class provided me with so much information about English language learners that I never would have thought about on my own. Her class encouraged me to use critical thinking skills and she is always open to hearing our stories and experiences. Dr. Alexandrowicz wants us to share our educational experiences and she is always providing amazing advice and feedback.

Dr. Hanssen has showed me how much she genuinely cares about her students. She is quick to respond and she is always ready to jump on any opportunity to help her students. Dr. Hanssen has helped me look into job opportunities and global opportunities. I have a love for traveling and she is supportive and enthusiastic to help me accomplish my goals.

What are your plans for after graduation?

My plans for graduation tend to change every day at this point! My dream job, at this point in my career, would be to live overseas and teach elementary school. I would love to work at an American school somewhere in Europe or Australia. If that does not work out, I would love to teach upper grades in elementary school.

Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?

USD is a fantastic school and I love how small the classes are. I have really been able to get close to my classmates and my professors and it has been such an experience for me so far!