posted May 3, 2021- written by Austin Nagelhout, SOE Graduate Assistant
"Every opportunity you take brings you closer to your goal of becoming a master teacher."
Kristen Smigielski entered Buffalo State College with an undergraduate and master's degree in music and voice performance and a passion for teaching children.
She had always wanted to inspire the next generation to achieve their goals, both academic and personal, and she admired Buffalo State’s culture of diversity and inclusion, along with its lifelong learning opportunities.
“I love that I can inspire students to have a growth mindset, help students adapt habits for academic success, as well as personal success, and allow them to feel like they can achieve anything,” she said.
Smigielski took advantage of many opportunities to work with a diverse community of students and parents during her time at Buffalo State. Through the School of Education’s Global Book Hour she was able to provide interactive read-alouds and share reading strategies with local children and families. She also joined Buffalo State’s Future Teachers Club as well as the Pen Pal Club at West Buffalo Charter School.
In addition to remaining active in the clubs and programs, Smigielski also attended several Professional Development School events to improve her teaching practice, including sessions on trauma-informed teaching and as well as interview and resume writing workshops.
After graduating from Buffalo State in 2019 from the Master of Science in Education: Childhood Education Initial Teaching Certification program, Smigielski enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Buffalo, working towards a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning. She is a music teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools and her goal is to apply what she has learned to her own teaching and inspire the next generation of educators.
“Get involved as much as possible,” she advises future teachers. “There are so many opportunities to engage with students and learn from professors while at Buffalo State. Every opportunity you take brings you closer to your goal of becoming a master teacher. Keep chasing your goals, and remember that you can do anything you set your mind to!”
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