As a math and science teacher at William Smith High School in Aurora, Colo., Brendan Harrison says he consistently utilizes the training he received from PEBC. He credits PEBC with giving him the courage to step outside the box, from incorporating geometry to build a chicken coop with his class to going camping with students from his survivalist class.
After a career as a mechanical engineer, his teaching journey began when Harrison was accepted to participate in the PEBC Teacher Residency program.
“I (was an engineer) for a couple of years, and didn’t love it,” he says. “I realized that I didn’t like sitting behind a computer all day. I’d always loved coaching kids, and the idea of teaching came up a few times.”
His dad heard about PEBC’s teacher preparation program from a family friend, and pointed him in that direction, so he could obtain expert training in a condensed period of time.
Brenden attributes the full-immersion, mentorship aspect of PEBC’s Teacher Residency with expertly preparing him for his career switch.
“I had a great mentor, and she gave me the freedom to try out new things in class and see what I would want to do when I had my own classroom,” he says.
In addition to his mentor, who went through her own training to guide and support him, Brenden says the program’s field coaches were central to his proficient preparation.
“We had a lot of voices in our ears,” he says. “I don’t know how many million questions I had, but they were always there. If I hadn’t had all that support and training, I would be pretty burned out already.”
He recommends PEBC’s teacher residency to anyone in search of an alternative teacher training program, and says he has never regretted the decision to make such a significant switch in his life path.
“This is where I’m supposed to be,” he says. “PEBC was a tremendous stepping stone. I needed them to be there. Their support hurtled me forward a little faster, and really helped me leap into teaching, a career I love.”