Future teachers undeterred by challenges in education

Posted: Updated:

This Spring, ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teacher's College projects 455 of its students will graduate with a degree that leads to teacher certification in Arizona. Serena Megofna is one of them.

"I'm coming out of this program feeling so excited and so prepared for next year," Megofna said.

Megofna is part of iTeach-AZ, an accelerated and rigorous Master's degree program. She has spent the last 10 months taking and teaching classes in the Tolleson District. Megofna graduates in June.

"I went into this program knowing nothing about teaching. I have never done education, my undergrad was psychology and I just was like 'you know what I love children I want to make a difference so here we go,'" said Megofna. 

Teaching in Arizona has its challenges. Things like large classroom sizes, less funding and some of the lowest pay nationwide to name a few. They are issues Megofna and her peers are well versed in, after spending a year on their student-teaching campuses.

"They see and they hear and they are aware of the challenges, but a truly great teacher I think, recognizes the challenges are there, tries to be part of the solution, but maintains the positivity that they have for the children," said i-Teach AZ Tolleson Site Coordinator Ashleigh King.

When asked about the issues facing educators today, Megofna admitted she had to really sit down and address them. She asked herself why she was going into teaching. Her response: Because she loves it.

"I'm sure I'm going to have struggles," she said.

Megofna's outlook overall is optimistic.

"I just want to make a difference."

Ultimately, the hurdles currently facing those in her chosen profession are not enough to deter her from her passion for teaching. It's a common sentiment among her peers and supervisors.

"I think in terms of the actual job, I think they are extremely positive. I think people come into teaching because they love children, they want to make a difference, they care about the community," King said.

This Fall, Megofna will officially begin her teaching career where she started it, at an elementary school in Tolleson.

"I leave here and I am so filled with joy and so filled with just fulfillment in what I've done. I would take that over money any day, and that's just my personal opinion," she said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.