By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Since he began his freshman year back in 2016, Jacob Alexander has shared his academic journey with College Life in each issue. The technology major at SUNY Oswego wraps up his degree this year.
“I’m very excited to get out in the real world and start my life and career,” Alexander said.
He completed his student teaching requirement during the fall semester at Wayne Central Middle School in Williamson (near Rochester) and Charles W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville while living at home in Sterling with his parents, Patti and Ron Alexander. In previous semesters, he had rented a place with roommates.
With his middle school students, he made small manila folder racers launched with a rubber band across the floor to teach them about aerodynamics, weight displacement and more. They also learned about tool and equipment safety — important concepts for children beginning their lifelong use of tools.
At the high school, Alexander led the students in a sweet project: creating a candy bar design and logo and using AutoCAD and CNC to create molds for the chocolate bars.
While the students learned practical applications of the tools and equipment, Alexander learned as well.
“I know now how I want to teach,” he said. “I got to see multiple styles as others taught and I homed in on how I want to teach and work in the classroom.”
He likes to mix his personality in with the projects to keep his students engaged.
This semester, Alexander returns to Oswego for 15 more credits that will sew up his degree. He’ll also serve as the teacher’s assistant for materials production, and likely help out Team Mini, a group of students who boost team spirit during Oswego games and Oswego Technology Student Association. In the past, he has held leadership roles with those groups, but this semester, he’s just helping out.
Alexander also hopes to land a part-time job and perform a lot of job searching. He has received a few job offers, but isn’t sure where he wants to go yet.
Scaling back on his extracurricular obligations will help him meet his academic goals.
“I want to end my senior year with good grades,” he said.
He will continue living with his parents as it’s difficult to find a short-term rental. If inclement weather makes driving home difficult, he has friends nearby “who will give up their couch for the night,” he said.
Alexander encourages education majors doing their student teaching to “make sure you keep up with your work and Education Teacher Performance Assessment all through the student teaching placements. Take plenty of video and keep up on your work.”