TCS Alum Returns to Seek College Advice from Former Teachers

Qiu-ee (TCS Class of 2013) is a senior at Academe of the Oaks who is figuring out her next steps for college – a long, nerve-wracking process many of us can recall. At this point in her journey, Qiu-ee has narrowed down her options to two colleges and two possible majors: anthropology and education. To help her decide which major to pursue, Qiu-ee returned to TCS for a two-week internship to seek guidance from some of her former teachers.

We sat down to discuss how her TCS experience has shaped her growth as a young adult and helped prepare her for high school and her college search.

Q: How has your TCS experience helped you in high school?

A: “As cheesy as it sounds, everything that has built who I am came from TCS. I spent nine years here just creating who I am. Ever since I was in kindergarten here, I’ve always said I knew who I was and that’s because I was very privileged to grow up in this environment of being accepted and not having to worry about what other people thought of me. The structure, foundation, support of my teachers, and inclusion here at TCS allowed me to become me. It’s amazing as a kid to feel that confident at that young age.”

Q: Why did you choose to come back to TCS?

A: “[Preparing for college] is a very stressful process, but I got into my top two colleges which are Bard College in New York and Agnes Scott. When going through the college process, I was thinking about what I wanted to study through college and an interest of mine has always been working with kids. I used to volunteer at art camps all the time and teach little kids how to draw; I coached ultimate frisbee at The Friends School; and my family has done multiple service trips. So, we’ve been to India (twice) and to China where we taught in villages for about a month. Something about doing those different things [has created] this recurring pattern of wanting to work with kids. It’s just so rewarding and it’s fun for me to do at the same time. So, when I was thinking about my internship, I was debating whether I wanted to study anthropology or something with education. So I figured if I want to teach then why not come back here and see my old teachers and get advice from the people that taught me first?”

Q: What have you learned during your internship?

A: “During my internship, it was interesting for me to work with some of my teachers because when I was growing up here, I didn’t really think about what they were doing intentionally. I thought they were just teaching because that’s what they’re supposed to do. When they tell me about what they define as a good teacher, it’s about what [experiences] they create to connect with each of their students. I’ve always seen these differences in the classroom and it connects to what they did with me that I didn’t think were intentional things. I think it was most interesting for me to see  Lucius and Michelle’s fifth-grade class because their teaching dynamic was so different. Working with the three and four-year-olds in Debbie and Troy’s classroom reminded me of like having her. That was just an amazing memory!”