Eastern Michigan University alumnus Stephan Hogan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2016. Now, Stephan is a mathematics teacher at Tappan Middle School for Ann Arbor Public Schools, and earned a Master's degree this past April at EMU.
Stephan always knew he wanted to pursue a teaching career, as it would enable him to help people and to create a healthy and welcoming environment for all students. This is very important to him because he did not always have the best set of circumstances.
“I had a mixed bag of experiences in my K-12 journey, so I wanted to provide a positive learning and life experience for every student I come in contact with,” Stephan says.
By volunteering at an elementary school classroom during high school, Stephan was able to gain experience and get a taste for the job. However, once he attended EMU, he strengthened his teaching skills.
“I am beyond grateful for the experiences I had at EMU,” says Stephan. “The foundation of my teaching, the way I see education, and the mindset I bring with me every day was cultivated through the classes and experiences I had while at Eastern Michigan University. I stay in contact with the professors I had as an undergraduate, and they continue to provide support to this day," he says.
The connections Stephan made with his professors at EMU illustrated to him the importance of building relationships with his own students. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged these efforts with the online atmosphere, Stephan still makes it a priority.
“My teaching style focuses heavily on connection and relationships, and I went into this year worried that I would not be able to build the same level of connection,” says Stephan. “I have spent three full quarters teaching in a fully virtual environment, and I have found that it is possible to create strong and lasting connections with students in this environment.”
Stephan realizes that things can be difficult for those teaching, and those who hope to teach, especially during this pandemic. He hopes his advice will help others remember the significance of the profession.
"First, remember why you are here,” says Stephan. “Stay focused and committed to your why, and you will be amazed at the things you can accomplish. Next, know you are not in this alone! Find your people. Those that will support you, laugh with you, and challenge you. Learn and grow with them, and you will make it for the long haul. Lastly, practice self-care! Find time to do the things you love and that bring you joy!”
If you would like to support our future educators like Stephan in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, please visit our crowdfunding page. Thank you Stephan for teaching and impacting our young people right here in Michigan.