Allie Schenitzki is currently teaching 5th grade Reading and Language Arts in Maryland through Teach for America. During her time at NYU, she was an Education Studies major with a specialization in Politics and Policy. Although policy is where she hopes to end up, she knew that she wanted to have some experience in the classroom, particularly in a public school to better understand the inner workings of such a large and complicated school system.
What was something you especially value from your time at NYU Steinhardt? Was there a course or professor or particular challenge that sticks with you?
Looking back on my time at NYU, I am so grateful for the Education Studies program in Steinhardt. Jamie Remmers (former Education Studies academic counselor) and Carol Anne Spreen (International Education Professor and previous Director of the Education Studies undergraduate program) were two people who were so fundamental to my growth during college, both as a student and as a person. I also spent my last year at NYU as a Resident Assistant (RA), which was a formative experience that also prepared me in many ways for the teaching role that I am in now.
How did you end up in your current role?
I have always loved kids and have considered teaching in the past. In my last year of NYU, a Teach For America recruiter reached out and told me about the opportunity to work as a teacher through TFA (shout out to Jorge Galan!) . He helped me through the application, interview, and decision process. From there, I was hired as a 5th grade teacher at Flintstone Elementary School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Do you have any tips for networking on growing in the field?
Stay open-minded! For a while, I thought that my plan post-grad would be going straight to graduate school or nonprofit work right out of college. When Teach for America presented itself as an option, I researched the opportunity and saw that there were many benefits to the program for someone like myself. Keeping my options open and exploring different avenues has always benefited me in my career path.
What's next for you? What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
As of now, I am loving my position as a teacher and could see myself staying in the position past the 2-year Teach for America program length. I am considering a path in either School Administration or Education Policy in the next few years. In the immediate future, my biggest goal is to improve my skills as a teacher and learn how to cultivate a strong class community.