Written by Mary L. Lawlor, Ph.D
Retired Eastlake High School Principal
For Lindsay Goulet, graduating from San Diego State University in May (Summa Cum Laude) with a degree in social science and entering the College of Education Teacher Credential Program in August 2012, are just the next touchstones in her learning adventure.
The Sweetwater High School graduate entered San Diego State through the Compact for Success, a partnership between SDSU and the Sweetwater Union High School District, and credits the efforts of her own middle and high school teachers for inspiration to become a teacher.
"They worked to make sure every student in class knew they were cared for and respected," says Lindsay who continues to give back to her community by volunteering at her alma mater twice a week. Compact activities also introduced Lindsay to the "diverse and rigorous programs" offered at SDSU and she knew within her first semester that teaching was her future.
Once at SDSU, Lindsay entered the University Honors Program (UHP). Developed for intellectually curious scholars from diverse backgrounds, the University Honors Program features small class sizes; a study-abroad component; and social, academic, cultural, and community service activities.
Students attend discussion-based seminars and are encouraged to reach beyond the boundaries of their academic majors to become more self-directed in their learning. Due to her studies with UHP, including a three-week stint at Oxford analyzing philosophy, religion, and science, Lindsay has developed into a reflective apprentice who sees every experience as a learning opportunity.
She decided to, "take chances and explore outside what is usual or comfortable because I am sure to learn a lot more along the way." Evidence of this philosophy is Lindsay's evolution as an educator. While majoring in social science to develop insight into human behavior now and in the past as well as develop strong critical thinking skills, Lindsay wanted to gain experience in the classroom during her undergraduate years.
She returned to tutor twice a week for her high school physics teacher. By the end of the school year, Lindsay decided to add science to her teaching repertoire. She enrolled in a summer course offered by SDSU's Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) and passed the examination for a foundational science credential.
With further encouragement from her physics teacher, Lindsay also passed the examination for a physics credential. As Lindsay has discovered, "You just never know until you try!"
The Compact for Success program stresses the importance of student participation in university activities. Lindsay advises students to get involved in student organizations as well. She volunteers for the annual Compact for Success 7th grade visit to SDSU and also joined a community of future educators where she met and formed bonds with students who care about their future profession and who face similar obstacles, fears and questions.
Working with this community empowers Lindsay to overcome those obstacles, quiet those fears and answer those questions. She also serves as the president of both the College of Education Student Council and the Student California Teachers Association and organizes events and workshops to help build a strong foundation to better prepare and inform the university's future educators.
These have included a diversity workshop funded by a grant from the National Education Association and annual "Education in the Real World" symposiums featuring three to five alumni who discuss their professional experiences and the programs they completed at SDSU.
Lindsay plans to earn her teaching credentials in social science, foundational science and physics in the coming year with a future goal of becoming a full-time teacher in San Diego's South Bay in order to "make a difference in the lives of students from my own community and cultivate a love of learning that will serve my students well in their lives, whatever path they choose to take."
Wherever her voyage takes her, Lindsay has learned not to pin her success on the results of her efforts but on what she learned from putting forth those efforts, and she is all the more remarkable for it.