Nathan Mihalski is a senior at Trinity, majoring in Theatre and minoring in Education. Nathan plans to go to graduate school to continue his education. Outside of academics, Nathan has participated in many mainstage shows here at Trinity, and this semester wrote and directed Vignettes of a Bug Catcher. He also performs stand-up comedy at the open mic nights on campus. He wants to combine his love of the fine arts with his passion for education. I sat down with Nathan to discuss the program.
Q: What helped you decide to go into teaching?
A: It was a shot in the dark, fall semester sophomore year. I took Child and Adolescent development with Dr. Allen and I resonated with it. It was a bit of a gamble, but it was the first class that really stuck with me. It was so informational because you can really apply that knowledge.
Q: Do you know what subject and/or age group you want to teach?
A: I definitely feel like secondary is my preferred field. I want to either teach theater or art and I feel like people’s motor skills have fully developed by that age so they can truly explore it.
Q: Tell me about your favorite teacher growing up? What is it about them that has stayed with you for so long?
A: We have Ms. Embry from the third grade. What's great about her is if you wanted to learn, you learned. If you want to roll around in the corner, you can roll around in the corner. If you want to be rowdy, you could be rowdy in the designated rowdy space.
Q: What environment do you want to create in your classroom?
A: I want to create an environment where students are comfortable with me as a teacher but also not overstep my boundaries. It’s such a hard line and I don’t think I’ve found the answer yet.
Q: Will you share your favorite class at Trinity so far? What makes this class special?
A: There’s a few classes that come to mind. Dr. Stith’s voice and speech is one of the most useful classes I’ve ever taken. The investment’s there, it’s a baseline level of skills that I’ve been able to use in theater and in education. Vocal health is something all educators need to know. Then we have EDUC 3302, where you go and student teach. I did 31 hours for the 24 required and I just took advantage of it! It’s brilliant because it's just free experience!
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone considering a minor in teaching?
A: Go for the grad program. The investment’s just there. It’s a very big step in the door where you could upgrade that degree in just one year. Also, your major (as an undergrad) is your preferred field of study. That’s something that’s not inherently said.