Eisenkraft is exploring her love for teaching through a position at a public school in Brooklyn.
Natalie Andrade Eisenkraft ’12 has dedicated her career to helping people. In 2012, she was earning her master’s degree in childhood education, with an advanced certificate in special education, while interning with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Long Island Chapter, via the Jaggar Community Fellows Program and working as the graduate assistant for Karen Autry, helping manage the America Reads/America Counts program.
While working with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Eisenkraft played a major role both in the office and out in the field. One of her best experiences was helping organize Bike MS, a ride to raise funds for the society. Even then, she knew she wanted to take her skills to schoolchildren, and she understood the value her experience with disabilities would have in a school setting. She landed this internship through the Center for Career and Professional Development, and it’s what launched her forward to where she is now.
After graduating from Adelphi, Eisenkraft landed a tenured position at The Science and Medicine Middle School—a public school in Brooklyn—where she’s worked for the last four years.
“My first year was a big adjustment,” she said. “I was eager and willing to devote myself to making it all come together, and it has.”
Eisenkraft received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education through Adelphi’s five-year Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) but discovered there’s still much to learn once you’re actually on the job.
“The day-to-day operations in a classroom with students who have an array of disabilities can be quite challenging,” she said. “My students live in an urban area with their own real-life situations and struggles. It’s not just academics I have to teach them.”
Eisenkraft explained that one of the biggest challenges she faces is addressing each student according to his or her own unique stories and struggles. She works to ensure that her students have a support system at school, and she says that collaboration and cooperation with other teachers are key to that endeavor.
“Having students from different backgrounds, and some with trying home situations,” she said, “I try to educate my kids to see that school is the way to the future they dream about.”This article appeared in the Career Compass Fall 2016 Newsletter.