Julia Clements, ’14, M.S. ’15, is a fifth and sixth grade teacher at St. Veronica Independence Mission School in Philadelphia.
Yes, I intended to become a teacher. I had an amazing high school English teacher who inspired me to get my degree in secondary education. But the thing I love about my English major is that it leaves the door open to many other job opportunities as well. I know people who teach, but I also know people in finance who graduated with English degrees. You’re never stuck as an English major.
Do you have a teaching specialty?
I am teaching fifth and sixth grade English language arts. I am also the reading support teacher for grades kindergarten through sixth. I received my master’s in reading and English as a second language.
How did your major prepare you for life after college?
It gave me the necessary tools to become a more confident English teacher. St. Joe’s allowed me the experience to observe multiple classrooms in a variety of schools throughout my college career, which helped me pick and choose the different types of strategies I would like to implement within my own classroom.
What was the best piece of advice you received about postgrad life before you graduated?
Keep asking questions and, on top of that, learn as much as you possibly can.
What advice would you offer to first-year students considering the English major?
Make sure you time manage. There is a lot more work than high school, but it’s worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to speak your opinion in class. The best part of English courses are the discussions.
What advice about the work-a-day world would you give to a rising senior or recent graduate?
Not be too hard on yourself. You’re new in the professional world. There is so much to learn.
Saint Joseph’s students interested in observing or volunteering at St. Veronica or any of the other 14 Philadelphia-area Independence Mission Schools should contact IMS President Anne McGoldrick at (215) 225-1575. Background check and clearances are required.
—Tess Hill, ’18