Even though COVID-19 drastically changed schooling the semester Kassidy Whittemore decided to change her major from political science to history and pursue teacher licensure, she found that teaching and working with students was her true passion.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘what if I wake up one day and realize I don't want to do science?’” she said. “Funny enough, that is exactly what happened.”
She changed her major to history with a minor in political science and enrolled in teacher licensure classes, and the rest is, well, history. Now a middle school teacher, she brings joy, compassion, and criticality to her work, and she has been selected as the Secondary Humanities MA+ licensure program’s 2023 Outstanding Graduate.
“I feel very lucky to be a part of this program and am grateful I was able to complete both my BA and my MA at CU,” said the Colorado Springs-born graduate.
Curious and passionate, Whittemore poses questions that challenge her classmates while maintaining humility and dedication to her own learning. When planning lessons, she considers different viewpoints, perspectives, and the diversity of her students.
Whittemore makes the content of U.S. history meaningful to her students’ lives and intentionally designs lessons that allow students to examine, question, and complicate common historical narratives. During a unit on the Revolutionary War, for example, she showcased untold stories of the Revolution, and she always creates lessons with consideration of the multiple preferences, strengths, and needs of learners.
Whittemore uses trust and compassion to build relationships with students outside of the classroom, and she immerses herself in the school community through participation in co-curricular activities and special projects and chaperoning a school dance.
“It is not uncommon to see students spending their lunch period in Kassidy and her mentor teacher’s classroom, reading, chatting, and playing games on their Chromebooks,” her faculty nominators said.
“Kassidy is a continual learner and reflective educator. She critically reflects upon her practice as she considers the role of power, privilege, and positioning in education and how teachers and students can act as agents of change.”