Published: May 3, 2018

Tyler LeCroy with parentsKnown for his thoughtful insights and engaging lessons, Tyler LeCroy shows enthusiasm and critical perspectives in STEM teaching. Tyler found his passion for math and science when he started community college and soon transferred to CU Boulder. He is graduating from CU Boulder this May with a degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology paired with the Secondary Science Teacher Licensure through CU Teach.

Learn about what drives Tyler’s passion for education and what he hopes to do next:

What influenced your path to education?

I was born in Big Bear, Calif. and lived in Southern California until 2009 when I moved to Colorado Springs, Colo. When I was eleven years old, my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had two brain surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation and lived another 13 years until the cancer became too aggressive to treat in 2010. When she passed away in November, 2010, I was not in school — I was waiting tables for a living and didn't have much direction in my life. After losing my mother I realized that this life is short and precious, and I wanted to do something important with mine. I enrolled in community college without knowing what I would major in, but knowing that I wanted to get a degree and find my passion. I have always wanted to be a teacher, and I fell in love with math and science in community college. I transferred to CU Boulder as a Chemical and Biological Engineering Major with the idea that I would work as an engineer for a while before starting a teaching career. I admit I was attracted to an engineering salary, but I did not enjoy being an engineering major at all. During my second year at CU my father suddenly passed away. While this was quite devastating, it caused me again to contemplate how precious life is. I decided that the paycheck was not as important as my happiness, and I tried my hand at teaching through the CU Teach program. I have never looked back since my first practicum assignment in Step 1 class. I know I have found my calling as a teacher, and I can't wait to get into my own classroom.

Why did you choose the CU Boulder School of Education?

Tyler LeCroyI actually came to CU Boulder as a Chemical and Biological Engineering student because I thought I wanted to work as an engineer for some time before I started a teaching career. I found that engineering was not a great fit for me, and I inquired at the School of Education what it would take to become a teacher. Two things really stuck out to me about the School of Education. One was that the professors and faculty at the School of Ed are all extremely welcoming and they all seem so happy with their jobs. Secondly, I loved how the Step 1 and Step 2 classes let me dip my feet in the water before fully committing to the School of Education. Getting a taste of teaching is what made me realize that I have found my calling, and that is something I really appreciate about the CU Teach program.

What continues to drive your passion for education now?

As a first-generation college student, I have had a unique set of obstacles to overcome to get my education, and I know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be to rise above difficult circumstances to succeed. What drives my passion is knowing that I can use my personal experience and story to bring more students to the realization that they can succeed in the face of real challenges.

What is next after graduation?

I am in the process of applying and interviewing for secondary science teaching jobs in the area. I hope to find a middle or high school position in a district close to Denver.

What’s your advice for incoming students?

If you're interested in studying education, my advice would be to spend some time learning what you can about the surrounding schools and districts right away. There are LOTS of schools out there, and it helps to have an idea where you fit in before you start a job search.

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