Student Spotlight: Ali Lidbury

Student Spotlight: Ali Lidbury

By Ali Lidbury

Helping students learn how to think for themselves and question everything is why I want to be a teacher.  My most memorable classroom experiences are with teachers who made space for and encouraged their students to develop individual thoughts and opinions.  Those teachers left a profound effect on the way I approach learning and life today.  It is because of their influence that I strive to be a teacher that inspires her students in the same way.

I hold a B.F.A. in musical theatre and prior to starting the MSED program, I worked as an independent dance contractor and a substitute teacher.  My career goals shifted after my undergraduate experience which is why I was particularly excited about Northwestern’s MSED program.  It is robustly equipped for teachers of all backgrounds and experience levels.  And it is overwhelmingly welcoming to career changers.  I chose Northwestern because the staff designed an incredible curriculum that is capable of differentiating for teaching experience of all kinds.  This fall I took Dr. Dohrer's Instructional Design and Development class which felt like it was a class designed just for me.  It was an opportunity for someone who is unfamiliar and nervous about lesson planning, like myself, to learn the basics and take their first stab at creating a unit.  That has been my experience in every MSED class thus far.  The faculty strive to assist our individual growth and will make sure we reach our next personal goal.

Although my background is in the arts, my focus at Northwestern is secondary history education.  Studying history was largely a hobby before I made this career change.  But I also view history and the arts as inherently connected by storytelling.  We learn from history by sharing the stories that have a lasting effect on our world, while art is a significant byproduct of historical events and their lasting effect on the populace.  So, in my career, I hope to find balance in teaching both history and the arts through storytelling in my classroom.

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