Class of 2017: Morris Combines Physics, French Interests with Elementary Education

Robert Morris, winner of the Curry School’s 2017 Outstanding Master of Teaching in Elementary Education award, made his way to Grounds from Arlington, VA in the fall of 2012. As an undergraduate, Morris honed is focus on his Physics major and his minor in French. But ultimately, it was the desire to teach young children that led him to the Curry School.

We had a few questions for Robert about his time at the Curry School and what his plans are upon this month’s graduation.

What is the most significant thing that has shaped your time while you’ve been here?

Working with kids constantly in schools as a tutor, practicum student, and student teacher. I learn so much from my students about how I can be a better teacher every day!

How did your interests/discoveries lead you to pursue this degree?

I worked at a camp run through the Curry School called the Summer Enrichment Program as a residential counselor for 4th and 5th graders my first two summers at UVA. I enjoyed working with the kids at the camp so much that I applied into the Curry School shortly thereafter. 

If you can name one person, who at Curry made a special impact during your studies and how?

Julie Cohen. She made a profound impact on me by getting to know me as both a person and student in her class. Plus, I learned how to construct well thought out lesson plans in her course!

What is one thing you learned here that surprised you?

Coming in to Curry, I thought I definitely wanted to be a 3rd, 4th or 5th grade teacher upon graduating. While at Curry, however, I learned that I really enjoyed working with K, 1st and 2nd graders in a classroom setting. This surprised me a lot looking back at myself three years ago, and it will make it very interesting for me to decide which grade I work with next year.

What will you be doing next?

I will be teaching about 20 miles south of Seattle, WA, in the Kent School District. I am not sure which elementary grade I will be with yet, but I am excited to live on the west coast for the first time in my life and work with students out there.