Crimson Chronicle Reporter
The new year has brought two new English teachers to campus. One might be familiar, since he was previously a student teacher and that would be Michael Cantone. The second new English teacher is Emily Sargent. Both earned their master’s of teaching degrees at USC and were in each other’s classes.
Although this is first time teaching a class on his own, Cantone had a lot of experience when he was a student. Cantone is currently engaged and is planning to get married this year. Along with lesson plans he’s also planning his own wedding.
He’s also welcomed a kitten to his life. Though there’s a lot of new things coming his way he’s working on how to balance everything. “So my life right now is trying to balance out taking care of an animal and planning a wedding and figuring out how to be a teacher full time,” Cantone said.
When Cantone transitioned from a student teacher to a full time teacher it wasn’t as hectic. As a student teacher he was already planning lessons and giving full lessons as a student. The only difference was that he is now teaching full time rather than teaching every other day.He still has the resources and help from his colleagues so he’s able to ask questions, but he’s not directly working with one teacher anymore.
Very early on he had a connection with school before deciding to become a teacher. Cantone didn’t always want to become a teacher and admits that he wasn’t the best student in high school. The lack of support made him feel discouraged and lost when it came to college. This is his main reason for becoming a teacher: to make the connections that he was missing when he was a student.
The teaching opportunity had fallen right into Cantone’s lap since this was the school that USC had assigned to him. During his time as a student teacher he has fallen in love with the experience he was having here and felt like he fit in. Cantone has enjoyed his time teaching here so far. The setting is different from what he’s used to, since he didn’t grow up in the city.
“There’s a lot of noise all the time, sirens going off. Lots of just people walking around the school. I’m not that used to that.” said Cantone. Yet despite the hectic lifestyle of Hollywood, he feels that everyone seems to be fun and energetic. Cantone is excited to be a part of the Hollywood family and hopes to accomplish his goals with his class together.
Sargent was raised in a small town in Chicago and attended Wauconda High School. She also was taking community college courses while attending high school. After she graduated she went to community college for a year before deciding what she wanted to do. She ended up getting her master’s in English at Northcentral University and decided that she wanted to teach ESL.
Her main goal was to live abroad and discover new cultures which she accomplished by deciding to apply to work in Europe and Asia, which led to her getting a job offer in Korea. She took the job offer in Korea and worked there for a couple of years. When she returned she spent her time in the U.S. working at a martial arts school, where she would translate, write and manage their books. While working at the martial arts school she had earned her black belt in Taekwondo.
Sargent decided to return to Korea for four years where she taught ESL. Teaching in Korea was a life changing experience for her. “Throughout that time, I would continue to grow as a person and decide what I wanted to do,” said Sargent. She found her love for teaching and decided to go back to school at USC in order to get her graduate degree in teaching.
Her decision to pursue becoming a full time teacher was on a whim, she had started with teaching in Korean.The next year she taught kindergarten during the day and adult test prep in the evenings.
Becoming a teacher was inevitable for Sargent, she started teaching at a young age. She started when she was in middle school when she taught piano and she loved it. Sargent wanted to do more than sit and write with her English degree.The transition from becoming a student teacher to a full time teacher wasn’t difficult at all,She was used to having a class to herself, she had previously taught special education which gave her this experience. She was used to having control of her classes as well as grading and lesson plans. The only transition for her was finding students’ level and how to fit that into teaching.
One big project that she’s planning on doing is a project where a student does a presentation where they’ll explain how to advocate something that they hold close to them. She believes that this project will be beneficial since Los Angeles is a place where people have a voice and a choice and can advocate what they feel is important to them. She’s looking forward to watching her students grow, not only physically but socially as well as emotionally.