Jay Huerbin

I’m a 25 year old educator, who currently teaches English and Language Arts to seventh and eighth graders at Shirley Heim Middle School in Stafford, Va. Before moving to Virginia, however, I spent the last 6 years at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2010, I graduated with my B.A. in English Writing. I focused on journalism and spent almost three years at Pitt’s student newspaper, The Pitt News, where I left as the sports editor. During my final months as an undergrad, I started looking for jobs in the journalism field. And while I’m confident that I could have found a suitable career  somewhere, I also began thinking about whether or not journalism was necessarily the career I wanted. I questioned whether or not it was my true calling.

Yes, I love writing. But I also love helping others.

When I came to Pitt in the fall of 2006 as an undecided freshman, I always had teaching in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I was nearing graduation that I realized that I wanted to become a teacher. For me, knowing that I will help others learn and make a difference in their lives is what sold it.

So, in 2011, I was enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. With that, I started earning my Masters of Art in Teaching degree. Through an intense but extremely rewarding internship at Chartiers Valley High School, I affirmed something that I always knew. That is, I was meant to be a teacher.

And something one of my students said to me toward the end of the year made all the difference. Immediately after finishing Dead Poets Society to wrap up our poetry unit, a girl in the back of the room, raised her hand and said, “Mr. Huerbin, if you can’t be my teacher and are told to leave the school, I would also stand on my desk and shout, ‘O captain, my captain.'”

That’s what it’s all about.


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