May 14, 2021
Manheim, Pa., native Tyler Shull is a secondary education major at Kutztown University. He graduated in May 2021.
Kutztown University has a long history of preparing strong, confident educators to lead their own classrooms.
Tyler Shull graduated in May, setting out on his journey as a teacher for the first time. He credits the people he has met and the rich experiences he’s had at KU.
“I would not be the person, the student educator, the leader, the philanthropist – I would not be who I am today without the people at Kutztown. These people encourage me to push myself even when I’m a little bit unsure about pursuing something I’ve never done before,” Shull said. “They encouraged me, they held my hand through it, but they also let me go and let me fly. The people are very special and encouraging here, faculty and students alike.”
One-on-one instruction is important to Shull because it’s the most effective way for him to learn, so he is thankful to have a faculty advisor who takes the time to meet him each week.
“My advisor has graciously set aside about 30 minutes to an hour every Monday to meet with me. We talk about my student teaching experience, we talk about my capstone honors project, and he’s able to give me direct feedback,” Shull said.
In addition to the mentors who have had an impact on Shull’s college career, he has grown through his involvement on campus.
“I serve as the president of Actors Creating Theater, the vice president of Presidential Ambassadors, I work as a tour guide for the university, and I’m currently working on applying to national conferences for my honors capstone project. Kutztown gave me the platform and those positions to experience what professionalism looks like, and through those learning experiences, I’ve grown so much,” Shull said. “I’ve learned to think about how I come across to other people and to carry and present myself in a professional fashion, so that the messages I’m trying to convey come across even stronger. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get involved on campus. It teaches you important skills and qualities like effective communication and preparation.”
Combining the skills he has learned with the guidance of his faculty advisor, Shull has been able to craft engaging lessons during his time as a student teacher. One particularly engaging lesson was a debate in an AP Human Geography class. Shull guided the students as they researched federal and state policies surrounding homelessness and debated whether federal policies or state policies are more impactful for fighting homelessness.
“When presenting their positions and then their rebuttals, almost every student was contributing facts and information they found and citing professional sources,” Shull said. “It was eye-opening to me to see how powerful a social studies debate can be. They were getting really into it and they were passionate when people presented other information that went against theirs.”
As Shull prepares to set off on his professional journey, he is confident that his time at KU has given him the tools he needs to be an excellent educator and leave a lasting impact on his students.
By Margaret Gehman '22, Web Content Writer