Last year he interned in Michelle Hernandez’s third-grade class. And at one point, he and the intern in Noura Wakim’s class switched places for a month, so he had the opportunity to work under the direction of two teachers and experience two very di erent but e ective styles of classroom management.
“In addition to general advice, useful templates, and differentiating lessons, one of the best things Ms. Hernandez allowed me to do was gain experience by trial and error,” said Koeffler. “I had full control on the arrangement of the classroom, the creativity of the lessons, as well as the opportunity for daily communication and discussion. We discovered that bouncing ideas o each other as a team improved the quality of both of our instructional practices.”
Through the UT Austin special education program that he was enrolled in, Koe er had the opportunity to intern at other schools in Austin as well, yet his heart remained with UT Elementary. “UTES was no typical charter experience. From day one, I felt accepted by the school community, free to express my creativity, and truly appreciated for my e orts by teachers and parents alike,” he said.
Koeffler explained that while interviewing for positions in several other districts, “I constantly caught myself comparing the schools to UTES—especially when it comes to quality of food and truly meaningful non-core classes—plus the thought of trying to gain a sense of community that seemed so effortless at UTES… I couldn’t resist it even if I tried. I’m a Longhorn. I bleed orange.”