11-5 Catherine Shackelford (Joshua Wineholt) (4 of 10).jpg
Catherine Shackelford at Weber State University. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

Your major is education, correct?

“Yes. It’s a social science teaching composite. My emphasis is in political science.”

Why that particular major?

“I love working with people. Relationships really matter to me, and when I started learning about political science, it really excited me how powerful of a subject it is. It teaches activism. It teaches people to be upset. I want people to be critical and not just passively taking in what they’re told. And I think teachers play such an important role to students that may not have anybody else to care about them or invest time in their development.”

Could you clarify what you mean by, “teaches them to be upset”?

“How to recognize that there are problems they should be upset about and how to express their dissent respectfully but not necessarily politely. You have to make noise, you have to convince people, rather than just yelling at them and expressing how you feel.”

Let’s say it is five years into the future, you’re a teacher, what is the one thing you want to pass on to your students, the one thing you want to teach them if you could teach them nothing else?

“How to speak up. I want my class to be really discussion based — where there is a dialogue. When you think about your own experience, you think, ‘Oh, I hated having to talk in front of the class.’ I want kids to get over that because even if they are a shy kid, they are still going to have to stand up for themselves at some point. I want them to find that voice and become comfortable with their voice.”

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