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Jordan Stockdale

College: Hunter College
Awards: Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, 2012

Learning, from Teaching

Jordan Stockdale (Hunter College MA, special education, 2012) grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, but he wanted to live and teach in New York "to see what else was out there."

He got his chance when he signed up for the New York City Teaching Fellows program, which gives incoming public school teachers on-the-job training while paying for their master's degrees.

For the past two years, he has taught special-needs sixth-graders at East Harlem's PS 57, "a high-needs school and a really good school," he says. "Being a minority male, I want to inspire younger students who look like me to succeed."

He won a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English and other subjects at a secondary school in Madrid, Spain, for 2012-13.

"The Fulbright gives me the opportunity to pursue my passion of teaching while exploring another culture," he says.

He has studied abroad before, traveling to Argentina for three months while earning his 2010 bachelor's degree at the University of Missouri. "I do speak Spanish in East Harlem, so I can practice in Spain," he says.

He was drawn to teach special education as an undergraduate while working at an after-school program called Intersections.

"I liked working with people who would be labeled ED, having emotional disorders," he says. "I realized that a lot of people I knew growing up, close family, had something that they might have had an IEP [individualized educational program for special education] for."

Stockdale intends to return to teaching in the city, but future plans include doctoral studies in political science, with a focus on U.S. foreign policy, and several years of teaching on the college level. He hopes to eventually return to teaching secondary-school students.