Jon KahleSecondary Language Arts Education

I began as an elementary education major and during the first semester of my sophomore year, I did a practicum experience at Elliott Elementary in Lincoln. I soon learned that maybe teaching older kids was a better fit for me and I switched to secondary English ed. I have never regretted that decision.
One of my favorite things about Teacher's College was Bev Mosher, my advisor and mentor from 1983-87. She was warm, personable, and so knowledgeable about classes and programs that would be best for me. I was also president of the Student Education Association which provided me with some leadership opportunities within the college.
I have been a teacher for 30 years. I spent my first 4 years in Overland Park, KS, until I returned to UNL in 1991 to pursue a MA in Educational Psychology. Then I taught at Lincoln East High School for one year before my wife and I moved to the Twin Cities for her to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Minnesota. The best job offer I received was 7th grade English at a large, suburban middle school and I have been in the Eden Prairie (MN) district ever since. In my 25 years in Eden Prairie, I have been a middle school English teacher, an elementary Title I reading teacher, a literacy specialist, a high school reading/English teacher, and instructional coach. I have appreciated the opportunities to try on different roles while staying in the same district.
All of my success as an educator is directly tied to my start at UNL. Teacher's College provided me with a set of foundational skills that I have relied on throughout my career. I often work with student teachers from a variety of higher ed institutions and I honestly feel like many of them don't have the same preparation that I had when I first walked into my student teaching experience at Lincoln High School in 1987. I was confident, open and flexible, and a curious student/teacher. Bev Mosher and my professors helped instill each of these qualities in me and I am forever grateful.
UNL offers an outstanding educational experience and it is up to each individual to soak it all up and take advantage of every single possibility and relationship that it provides. Anyone can work their way through a program by checking boxes. Make sure your UNL experience is more than just checking boxes - get to know your professors, advisors, and former students. Leverage those experiences now while you can.
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