Congratulations to Teacher Education alumni Erin Enguero, who was one of four CSU alumni featured on the CSU website as part of their ‘Cheers to the Class of 4 Million’ series!
Advice for graduates: “There are a lot of people … [who] pursued one thing, and it turned out not actually being where they end up. That’s something important to tell students, because you’re stressing so much about, ‘What am I going to major in? What school am I going to go to?’ And really, I think it’s a matter of keeping your mind open and being OK with where you end up.”
When Erin Enguero started her kinesiology degree at San José State, she was on track to graduate and head into physical therapy school. And she did just that in 2016—though after one semester of PT school, she realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do and left the program.
“That was really hard for me because I was so used to having this to-do list, and suddenly I didn’t know what was next,” she says. “There’s a part of me that looks back that wonders what would have happened if I spent a gap year trying to gather things up and reflect where I am in my life instead of rushing ahead. And now that I’ve gone through everything, I think it’s a good thing to give oneself time to think about what they’re doing.”
During a year and half of figuring out her next step, Enguero applied to a job as a gymnastics coach for children with special needs and later an assistant children’s librarian. Through these experiences, she realized her desire to work with children and began taking early childhood classes at a local community college. In 2019, she returned to SJSU to earn her master’s in education and a teaching credential.
“I knew SJSU had a focus on social justice and equity, which is really important to me,” she says. “Having grown up with hearing loss and learning to be an advocate for myself and others, returning back to my alma mater was like finding that missing piece in the puzzle.”
While the program included two semesters of student teaching, Enguero extended her time student teaching to work with her supervisors and mentors on solutions to help her adapt to the classroom environment. Following her December 2020 graduation, she’s been applying to positions in elementary and middle schools.
“I decided to go into teaching hoping I could help kids think more about what it means to be an empathetic citizen, someone who can be successful, who could use their talents and abilities in a way that best reflects who they are and what they could do for themselves and, one day, their community,” Enguero says.