Meet Andrea Peck, Ed.D., assistant professor of education. Previously Professor Peck was the principal of Seneca Valley Middle School, a sixth-grade science and reading teacher at Pine-Richland Middle School, and an adjunct professor at various institutions.
What inspired you to enter the field?
As a school administrator/principal, I missed teaching! Working with students is the reason I originally pursued education. My experiences through the years as a teacher and principal have provided me a broad picture of education.
I feel it is my duty to share my knowledge with the next generation of teachers. I hope my personal examples will help students better understand how schools operate and how we can best support student achievement.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at La Roche?
I went here for my undergraduate degree and returned for the same reasons. La Roche is a second home to me. The reason I chose La Roche as a student was because of the connection students and faculty have.
I also enjoy that La Roche is focused on teaching. This is why I made the move back into the classroom after obtaining my doctorate. It is very fulfilling to play an active role in helping individuals work toward and achieve a goal that will be a part of their lives for years to come.
How do you apply your professional experience to the classes you teach?
My teaching style is one that is interactive and differentiated. I am constantly developing ways for students to collaborate and express their understanding through multiple modes. I love using technology and creating hands-on activities.
My style also is deeply modeled off of the actual instructional practice that teachers use in schools. I not only discuss teaching strategies to engage learners, I use these strategies when I teach so that students can see the benefits in person. The modeling I use is important because it shows students I practice what I preach.
How do you stay current with the trends and challenges in today’s educational setting?
I am in school observing student teachers and field students every week, so I see what teachers are expected to do and use in their classrooms. I also attend and present at conferences to learn from other experts in the field.
I am the secretary and a board member for the Western Region of the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education, so I collaborate with local school teachers and administrators each month. I enjoy reading professional journals and resources as well.
I also stay up-to-date with any changes the Pennsylvania Department of Education makes. One of the best ways I stay in the loop is talking with my department and friends in the field of education.
What qualities do you think effective teachers need to have?
They need to be student-centered and love what they do! They also have to be team-players. Lastly they need to be creative and not afraid of a challenge.
What advice do you have for students who want to pursue careers in education?
While there are many hoops to jump through to be a teacher, it is a very fulfilling and exciting profession. Every day is an adventure, and you will make memories and friendships that last a lifetime. You will be proud of where your students go, and you will feel very honored to have been a part of their lifetime journeys!