Alumni Spotlight: Candice Aguirre
Science Teacher at Anaheim Union High School District
Major & Concentration:
UCSC B.S. Marine Biology, 2004; CSUF Credential Program, 2015
What are you doing now?
I am a science teacher at Savanna High School in Anaheim, CA. I teach the following 3 courses: Honors Biology, CP Biology and Integrated Science.
What were you involved with at Cal State Fullerton?
I was a part of the AIMS Scholar program, which is designed to train math, science, and special education teachers. I received support from the CSUF Mathematics and Science Teachers Initiative (MSTI) which helps new teachers become more effective in the classroom.
How did Cal State Fullerton prepare you for your current career?
CSUF prepared me with courses and material related to the demographic of students I would be serving in California. With regards to the general classroom, an introductory pedagogy course taught by Dr. Henning was extremely helpful in cultivating a culture of care with students and helped me to work in my own classroom with students who were especially difficult to reach. The science-specific courses helped me to understand how to interpret and implement the NGSS framework into the classroom. We explored how to uncover and address student's misconceptions and what modeling really looks like in the classroom. The science courses also helped us to see the classroom from the students' perspective as we developed and practiced lessons for use in the classroom.
What advice would you give to incoming, current, or graduating biology students?
To biology students who may be considering teaching, I would highly recommend pursuing research experiences to enhance your understanding of how science works and use current research to enrich your classroom. I love translating my own experience from my undergraduate and graduate programs, along with my work experience as a fish technician for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to promote science as a viable field, especially for minorities and women.
Personally, I would also highlight the importance of knowing yourself and what you would like out of your career path. One way to do this is to observe a variety of teachers prior to entering the teaching credential program. Observations are one of the course prerequisite requirements at CSUF and they can really help you determine whether or not teaching is the career for you.