Fellow Q&A: WW Teaching Fellow Tyler Kinner
WW Teaching Fellows come from many different backgrounds but are united by a single goal: to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (the STEM fields) in some of the nation’s highest-need schools. But what makes these Fellows tick? What inspired them to pursue a career in the classroom? In this WW Perspectives series, we hear from WW Teaching Fellows about what drew them to the program.
Tyler Kinner was a 2015 WW Georgia Teaching Fellow and is now a science teacher at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia.
WW Perspectives: What drew you to teaching?
Tyler Kinner: I was drawn to teaching after mentoring high school students in the research lab I worked in as an undergraduate. The realization of the impact teachers can make on students resonated with me and I decided to make the jump into teaching.
WW Perspectives: Why did you choose the WW Teaching Fellowship?
Tyler Kinner: The unique preparation model offered by the WW Teaching Fellowship, in conjunction with my institution, Piedmont College, compelled me to pick the program over other master’s programs.
WW Perspectives: What do you think was the best preparation that you’ve received for the realities of the classroom?
Tyler Kinner: The yearlong clinical experience prepared me well for my first year in the classroom. From pre-planning, to gradebooks, and beyond—I was prepared as well as any early-career teacher.
WW Perspectives: Can you recall any moments in the classroom when you knew that you’re making a difference as a teacher?
Tyler Kinner: My students have participated in summer internships in local university chemistry labs. One of my first students will be graduating this year and has leveraged their lab experience into numerous scholarships and acceptance into their dream school. It was not only the knowledge, but the experiences with which I was able to support my students that has created lasting impact!
WW Perspectives: What matters most to you about the students you work with?
Tyler Kinner: Their ability to use their skills in science to think, create, and reflect. While their knowledge of electron configuration may fade as they go through college as a non-science major, the STEM skills I teach alongside will benefit them in college and beyond.
WW Perspectives: What was the most rewarding part of the program for you?
Tyler Kinner: The most rewarding part has been the numerous opportunities to learn about STEM education and new ways to teach science. The Fellowship offers so much more than conventional teacher preparation!
WW Perspectives: What would you say to someone who’s considering becoming a WW Teaching Fellow?
Tyler Kinner: The financial support is nice, but it’s the lasting impact of participation in the Fellowship, ongoing mentorship, and the network of Fellows that has really made the difference for me. The Fellowship not only makes you more competitive in finding a position, but also makes you a better teacher for your students.