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Erin Ritchie

Photo of Erin Ritchie, STEP '19

Erin Ritchie,
STEP '19

Learning to address all students’ needs

Despite coming from a family of teachers, Erin Ritchie, STEP ’19, didn’t plan on becoming one herself. Eventually she realized she shouldn’t fight what she was naturally drawn toward. “I had always been like, ‘I’m never going to be a teacher, Mom. No. Ew.’ So when I told my family that I was thinking of going into teaching, they all laughed at me.”

After graduating from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in English teaching, Ritchie spent a year in Utah teaching ninth-grade English, but felt like she was missing the skills she needed to address all of her students’ needs. “I had kids who were reading on a third-grade level, and kids who were reading on a collegiate level and paying for extra tutoring. I didn’t know how to handle those inequities.” The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) helped her dive deeper into those issues, she says. While she was initially concerned that the program might be too repetitive for someone who already had a teaching degree and experience, she says that STEP did a great job of building upon what students came into the program already knowing. “It provided me with new perspectives and genuinely valuable information that keeps me critically thinking and examining my own practice.”

December 13, 2019
Photo: Holly Hernandez

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