MTC '18 Spotlight: Shaun McDonough

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NAME: SHAUN MCDONOUGH

COLLEGE: UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

PLACEMENT: LELAND HIGH SCHOOL

1-2. What made you want to join the Mississippi Teacher Corps, and what did you last year?

I come from a family of educators, growing up I said I would NEVER become a teacher. I started University as a business major, because I had no idea what I wanted to do. In 2015, I was invited by some acquaintances to live in a village in rural Mexico and work for a non-profit. Within a few weeks of the invitation, I switched to online classes and was on a plane headed to Merida. During my time there I was an art teacher for an education non-profit.  I did not have any teaching experience, and I also could barley speak Spanish.  To top it off, I then figured out very quickly that Spanish was also their second language. Although I was a pretty bad teacher, the experience was moving. Many of the students had not had much of a formal education and I was grateful to be able to teach them what little I knew about art. Two years later, I found myself in Leland, Mississippi teaching fifth grade. Although the school is far from perfect, the students were amazing. They kept me motivated to do my very best to give them the best education possible. The students inspire me everyday and I was so surprised how quickly I felt comfortable and accepted moving to such a small community.  I joined MTC because I want to continue to teach the students in my newly adopted state of Mississippi. 

3. Did you do any fun trips over the holiday break? If so, where did you go?

Over winter break I went to Ecuador! I have always wanted to go to South America and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to do so. I certainly learned some new things about myself. For example, I now know that I get extreme altitude sickness (Mississippi is a good spot for me). One of the reasons Ecuador was so great is how ecologically diverse it is. It was really interesting to be able to potentially travel to the Amazon, the Andes mountains, massive volcanos, and beautiful beaches in the same day. Also, I ate a Guinea Pig (which does NOT taste like chicken). 

4. What part of your teacher persona are you trying to improve on this semester?

This semester I would like to work on becoming a little bit more serious. I am definitely the class clown and can most certainly become the biggest classroom management issue.

Hunter Taylor