Megan Tasler, Math Education 6-12
Why did you choose UNI's Teacher Education program? I had heard that UNI was the best for an education degree. I love being here. My mother graduated from UNI with a teaching degree and she taught special education for 15 years along with teaching in a general education setting. She is now retired after teaching a total of 33 years.
What current/prior experiences do you have with special education? I have several close family members that have Down Syndrome and have had the opportunity to learn and grow from my experiences during family get gatherings and from babysitting my cousins. I have also had the opportunity to put together a Buddy Walk which raises money for Down Syndrome Research. My family started this organization in the Des Moines area and I was an integral part of organizing for events. My family and I are also involved in Special Olympics in the Des Moines area. During my summers I worked for an organization called Opportunity Living which is a facility that houses, gives job opportunities and therapy to people with special needs. My mother has also been a great inspiration to me and my choice to seek these opportunities. As I mentioned before, my mother taught special education and I was in the classroom with her from a very early age.
What is a fond memory of your time spent at UNI? My Phase II experience was in a Level I room in a Cedar Falls school and I had the opportunity to work on math skills with select students. We took the students outside to play 4-square in order to provide them with a hands-on experience that would allow them to build their math skills in a fun and interactive way. It was extremely exciting and rewarding to see the students relate to math in such a fun way and also to see them transfer this knowledge back into the classroom and back to the test. It was really fun to see the students come together and get excited about math as a group of peers. They all came from varied backgrounds but were able to work together to learn these new skills. Not only were they able to learn math, they were also practicing their social skills.
Any tips for prospective/current students that are working toward similar degrees? Don't label your experiences in the classroom as good or bad, take each of them and learn from them.
What are your career plans? Where would you like your UNI education to take you? I would like to start out in a special education classroom in a high school setting and work as a co-teacher in a general education setting teaching math.
Any fun quotes or words of advice to the people reading this profile? As a math nerd I will leave you with a math joke! Why was the square late for school? Answer: He took the rhombus!