College of Education Student Ambassador
Meet Nadia Dao
Hometown: Arlington, TX
Major/certification area and anticipated graduation year: EC-6 ESL 2024
Why did you choose to attend UT Arlington?
- I chose to attend UTA because it was close to home, and all my educational expenses were covered by scholarships. The education program is also amazing, so it was obvious that UTA was the perfect fit for me!
What is your favorite thing about the College of Education at UT Arlington?
- My favorite thing about the College of Education is how the professors are genuinely passionate about helping pre-service teachers grow in their journey to becoming future educators. I feel supported and understood by my peers and professors in this program. It feels wonderful to be surrounded by people who share the same passion for teaching and have so much insightful knowledge to share. Being in the College of Education has truly solidified my desire to teach because of how motivating the atmosphere is!
Who is your favorite professor or staff member? Why?
- My favorite professor is Dr. Kathleen Tice. I admire the passion she has for teaching, and I love hearing her stories from her teaching experiences. She has so much knowledge to share, and I have learned so much from listening to her. My time in her classroom feels extremely valuable, and I appreciate how she is always willing to help me. She is extremely passionate about supporting a new generation of pre-service teachers to become educated, passionate, and successful educators.
What class have you enjoyed the most?
- The class I enjoyed the most was LIST 4376 Assessment in Literacy Learning. I loved learning how to evaluate a student's assessment to understand what literary concepts they were struggling with. I also enjoyed our teaching demonstrations where we would practice using instructional strategies with our group members. I felt that the hands-on approach of this course was extremely beneficial for learning about the most effective instructional strategies for teaching.
What activities or hobbies do you participate in outside of class?
- At UTA, I participate in the Vietnamese Student Association along with the College of Education Ambassador program. Outside of class, I love playing flag football with my friends. Two years ago, my boyfriend started getting a few of our friends and family together every Saturday morning to play, and it's something we have done since! I'm a big Taylor Swift fan as well, and I love listening to her music and collecting signed CDs. I've been a Taylor Swift fan since I was seven years old, so it is something that I am well-known for! I also love doing arts and crafts. I enjoy making my friends and family handmade watercolor cards for holidays.
What are your plans after graduation? When you think about your future career in education, what excites you the most?
- After graduation, I hope I can stay close to home and teach in a district nearby! I would love to teach younger children, preferably first or second grade. When I think about my future career in education, I am most excited about the students that will be a part of my life and how much influence I will have over their lives and education. I want to create a welcoming classroom environment where they will feel safe, important, and loved. I also want to help foster a passion for learning in my students. I hope I can make an important impact on my students' lives and contribute to their emotional, social, and academic growth.
What is the one thing you think a prospective Education student needs to know?
- The College of Education at UTA is an extremely supportive community of professors, staff, and students. You will have all the resources you need to ensure that your future career in education is successful. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Make sure your time at your student teaching placements is valuable as well! Show your cooperating teachers that you are passionate about learning and willing to do what is necessary to succeed.
Have you overcome any challenges that you feel would help inspire other Education majors?
- I've been wanting to pursue education for a long time, but I felt that I was always met with disapproval and judgment when I would share my dream of becoming a teacher. It was discouraging to me to be surrounded by individuals who didn't understand my strengths when it came to teaching and didn't respect teaching as a valuable and necessary job. Even my parents were not thrilled about my career choice at first. However, being surrounded by peers who also want to pursue a career in education tremendously solidified my passion for teaching. I felt much more motivated and encouraged, and I now have confidence in my abilities and decisions in education. Once I started ignoring all the opinions of those who knew nothing about my passion and talent for teaching, my journey toward my future career in education felt easier and more fulfilling. I surrounded myself around people who supported my goals and understood the importance of the work I was pursuing. Once people noticed that I was dedicated and resilient, most of them stopped judging and disapproving.