As a policy and program developer at a non-profit environmental policy company in Washington, D.C., Anita Uyehara looked at the burgeoning environmental movement in todays teenagers and got her teaching degree. This week, she started as a second level biology teacher at T.C. Williams where her environmental background is in tune with the schools green design.
I found in them a great enthusiasm about environmental issues, she said, after working with interns at her old company and a three-month stretch as a substitute at T.C. By bringing these issues to teenagers, they can learn how to fix the problems from the bottom up. Her experience at T.C. was positive. I fell in love with it, she said.
In July 2006, she started taking an expedited masters degree program at the Virginia Tech satellite campus in this area and got her teaching degree this summer.
Uyehara had 20 years with her company and entertained thoughts of retirement when she brought up the idea of teaching to her husband and three sons. The boys are supportive, she said. Two are college graduates and one son is a senior at a Fairfax County high school. Her husband helped her through the process and it opened both their eyes to the process teachers go through. My husband is gaining appreciation for the effort it takes to be a teacher. I am too, she said.
Uyehara lived abroad for many years as a child, learning Spanish along the way before settling in Northern Virginia. With the diverse population at T.C., I think it helps to be able to talk to the Spanish-speaking parents, she said.