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Joshua Rainone ’24 is paying it forward.

A double major in secondary education and English, his inspiration for pursuing education in college stemmed from his high school English teachers who made learning exciting by delving into symbolism and discussing real-world topics. He admired them as more than just teachers; they were supportive mentors who influenced him deeply. Their impact motivated him to aspire to be a similar positive influence for future students and understand the qualities that define a good educator.

His passion for education also stems from his advocacy for diversity and his love for reading diverse texts.

"I have always had a love for reading diverse perspectives, life experiences, and the struggles that may be affecting different communities or individuals in society," he said.

Recognizing the limitations of his high school literature curriculum, which primarily focused on a standard “literary great” point of view, he was compelled to become an educator to widen the canon of voices and perspectives for his future students. Josh aims to challenge the norm and include authors and texts that offer perspectives commonly overlooked or ignored, such as exploring different experiences of the American Dream or the impact of gender, race, and sexuality within texts.

He found all his education courses at Emmanuel impactful, particularly in preparing him for student-teaching and his future career. He learned various strategies in courses like “Teaching All Students” to meet diverse learning needs and ensure inclusive lesson plans. The “Sheltered English Instruction” class provided insights into scaffolding for English Language Learners. However, the most influential was the "Classroom Management" class, where he gained strategies for creating a productive and safe learning environment, easing his nerves for student teaching and empowering him to establish his classroom presence effectively.

While initially felt nervous about his student-teaching practicum at nearby Boston Latin School, he discovered he was more prepared than he realized, due in part, to the School of Education’s practice of requiring three semesters of pre-practica before full-time student-teaching. 

He reflected, "I have developed such substantial skills to ensure that my students are all feeling heard in the classroom and that all of them can have a voice." Through real-world experience, he learned to accommodate students with disabilities and develop effective lesson plans that actively engaged students. This experience taught him the importance of continuous planning and understanding the material deeply. Josh also recognized the significance of inclusive teaching methods and effective classroom management. He embraced the learning process, acknowledging that mistakes contribute to growth and confidence as an educator.

Outside of his major, Josh's role at Director of Marketing for the Student Government Association enhanced his teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. He stated, "Being a part of SGA allowed me to get a better sense of how to work as a team," and helped him understand how to gauge students' interests and motivate them to participate. Additionally, it improved his ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of people, skills that will benefit his future career in education.

After graduation, Josh will pursue his Master’s in Education at Emmanuel, as part of the College’s 4+1 Program, after which he will be licensed in both Sheltered English Instruction as well as Moderate Disabilities. This will allow him to work in Inclusive classroom with students who may be denoted as English Language Learners or have learning disabilities. Long term? “I hope to continue and get my doctorate in education at some point within the next ten years,” he said.