Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UTSA grad achieves her childhood dream of teaching children

UTSA grad achieves her childhood dream of teaching children


SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 — Erica Campos ’22 is living her childhood dream. As one of the newest teachers at San Antonio’s Oak Crest Elementary, Campos, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, is learning how academic preparation has led to realization of her new career.

“Ever since I was little, I really liked the idea of becoming a teacher,” she said.

Inspired by her middle school band director, Campos realized she wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives. In high school, she worked as a kindergarten teacher’s aide, where she loved connecting and developing relationships with the students. After high school, she attended Palo Alto College, where she received her associate degree in 2019.

“I love this program. It helped me a lot and I feel very prepared for the classroom.”

Her passion led her to the UTSA College of Education and Human Development in 2020.

“I chose UTSA because I heard it was a really great school for teaching,” Campos said. She said she had heard about UTSA’s reputation from professors and classmates at Palo Alto College as well as an aunt who is a principal in San Antonio’s Harlandale Independent School District and a UTSA graduate.

Campos said she loved attending classes at the Downtown Campus, where she enjoyed the small, close-knit community. But shortly after she enrolled at UTSA, classes transitioned to virtual formats with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Going to virtual was a little bit challenging for everybody,” Campos said, “but I just worked hard, did my best, and persevered and got through it.”

While Campos missed the in-person community she’d become a part of, she recognizes that the virtual learning had some benefits as well. By attending classes in person and online, she was able to experience a little of the best of both worlds.

“I got to learn a lot about different technology and how to incorporate that into my classroom,” she said, “so it was a really good experience being both in-person and online. I love this program. It helped me a lot and I feel very prepared for the classroom.”

Some of these preparations included preclinical teaching over Zoom, an introduction to hybrid classrooms and a year of clinical teaching, which Campos said really helps student-teachers see the growth that happens in the classroom. So far, her favorite thing about teaching is the relationships she’s built with students.

“You get really close with them and you get to know them. It’s just a great feeling to know that you’ve made a difference in their lives,” she said.

Learn more about the programs in the College of Education and Human Development.

As the beginning of the school year drew near, Campos began gathering classroom supplies and started thinking about how she wanted to incorporate what she’s learned at UTSA into how she manages her classroom. She said she’s especially excited to start this next chapter in her life.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know my students, my first class, their families, the community,” she said. “I’m a little nervous because it’s all new to me, but I’m more excited than nervous to start out on my own.”

Christopher Reichert

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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.



University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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