Megan Read, 25, a senior majoring in English with a minor in secondary education at Colorado State University-Pueblo, has been named first place winner in the Fall 2009 BrainTrack Teaching Scholarship competition.
BrainTrack is a biannual scholarship available for college students seeking to elementary through high school students. Read won $1,000 for essays she wrote and which will be applied toward her teacher education.
“I’m surprised I was chosen as I applied for the scholarship on a whim,” Read said, as she laughed loudly.
Read said she explored the Internet to see what scholarships are available for prospective teaching students. BrainTrack, she said, offered what she was looking for.
“The questionnaire asked me, ‘What is my motive is for wanting to be a teacher, why did I chose to be involved in education and what do I hope to achieve,’ “ Read said. “Also, I had to write four essays as part of my application.”
According to Read, the essays are the perfect vehicle for offering insight for students seeking a teaching career. She said her essay encourages students to include professional skills training when planning their courses. Read said she also recommended that students find ways to integrate what they learn between their teaching and subject area courses.
Read said she was notified via-email of her selection as one of 10 finalists a few weeks later. She said after conferring with her professors about her character, BrainTrack gave her the nod.
“BrainTrack sent CSU-Pueblo a check for me which was really cool, and sent a representative to meet and interview me,” Read said.
Read pointed out that few people know about BrainTrack and the scholarship money that is available for students seeking to enter the teaching profession.
“I encourage prospective teaching students to check it out,” Read said of BrainTrack.”
When she isn’t studying, Read works as a tutor at the Writing Center where she helps students hone their grammar and writing abilities, and where students, she said, help her develop her teaching skills.
“Helping students has helped prepare me for teaching high school,” Read said. “Of course, I have to earn my teaching license first.”
Read said she hopes to earn her license by summer.
“It’s difficult for Colorado students to become teachers if they’re not certified,” Read said. “You can teach with a master’s degree, but are subject to get dropped if you aren’t certified. I wanted to get certified and knew CSU-Pueblo could help me reach that goal.”
The petite Read smacks more of a middle school student than a woman who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from CSU-Fort Collins, and a master’s degree in Gender and Media Studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. She said to date she has completed a year and a half of course work for a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in secondary education from CSU-Pueblo.
“That pretty much sums up the chronological order of my education,” Read said as she laughed. “I don’t have much of a social life, but it’s worth it.”
Brushing a strand of her shoulder-length, brunette hair away from her face, the Pueblo native said she was completing her master’s degree when she realized she wanted to teach high school. She said she had to earn her teaching license and that CSU-Pueblo is the best place to make that happen.
“I want to help students learn to read and write, and love language arts,” Read said. “I decided to get my secondary English teaching degree and license, and knew CSU-Pueblo was could help me achieve that.”
Looking to the future, Read said she wants to teach high school English in Colorado and eventually earn a doctorate in English or gender studies. She also said she might relocate to the United Kingdom someday where she can be closer to her boyfriend and pursue her teaching career.
Read said it’s gratifying to have met people who share her passion for filling young minds with knowledge. She said her time at CSU-Pueblo will serve her well in all teaching endeavors.
“I want to be a good teacher and CSU-Pueblo is helping achieve that goal,” Read said.
The BrainTrack scholarship is open to students with at least one semester of credits toward graduation with an appropriate degree in teaching. Studies can be full or part-time, on-campus or online, and must be attending an accredited U.S. college. Entrants are encouraged to respond to essay questions geared toward helping others evaluate teaching as a potential career path.
The Spring 2010 entry deadline is March 1, and the Fall deadline is November 1. There is no entry fee. You can learn more about BrainTrack by visiting http://www.braintrack.com or http://www.braintrack.com/colleges-by-career/elementary-school-teachers#scholarship.