Holistic Academic Experience Prepares Rainha ’16 Well for Teaching Role

History and secondary ed major Michael Rainha left Emmanuel prepared to succeed in a classroom of his own thanks to dedicated professors, supportive peers and a career-solidifying practicum at North Quincy High School.

In his third year at Marianapolis Preparatory School, a coeducational, Catholic boarding and day school in Thompson, Connecticut, Michael Rainha has a lot on his plate. In addition to his responsibilities as an educator, teaching five sections of World History, he serves as the head coach of the varsity boys' lacrosse team and the junior varsity boys' soccer team, a house head, a dorm parent, a wellness leader and an advisor to nine members of the sophomore class.

Despite the many hats he wears every day, he felt well-prepared for the challenge after graduating from Emmanuel in 2016.

"The academic foundation I received at Emmanuel really helped me grow as an educator and gain meaningful experience in the classroom," Rainha said. "Professors such Sister Karen [Hokanson] and Dr. [Christine] Leighton gave me helpful advice and strategies that helped shape me into the teacher that I am today. My peers in the education program also helped me develop and the community of young teachers gave me a great support system."

In addition to his skills in curriculum-building, classroom management and more, Rainha built valuable skills in oration and communication.

"Being a history teacher, a subject laden with lecture, my public speaking skills allow me to keep my students involved and cover material at a good pace," he said. "Through many classroom presentations and my student teaching experience, I refined my classroom etiquette and am now able to help my students gain mastery of concepts through my lectures and experiences."  

Rainha's experiences in both observation and student teaching helped him formulate his personality as a teacher and gain the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom. He noted the most important experience that Emmanuel provided him with was the opportunity to student teach at North Quincy High.  

"The opportunity not only reaffirmed my desire to teach, but gave me critical experience to further my maturation as an educator," he said. "My time student teaching at North Quincy High School helped me greatly as it allowed me to adjust to the lifestyle and workload of teaching."  

Another practicum that helped me greatly was a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) class that gave me the ability to become SEI endorsed while in school. This class helped me develop strategies and techniques to better work with non-native English speakers. This is especially helpful for me as I work at school with a large international population, many of who fall into this category.  

"These programs helped complete my transition from college student to high school teacher and prepared me for the world of teaching and all that comes with it," he said.

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