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Biology graduate planning for the pharmacy finds himself in the classroom

Charles Feher, SVC alumna of 2016, who graduated with a bachelor’s of science in biology, is currently pursuing his education degree post-graduation to fulfill his dream of making a difference while doing what he loves.

When Feher started on the biology path, he intended to become a pharmacist. But after a couple of semesters, he realized that that’s not what he truly wanted.

He started looking into other biology career pathways, and his mother suggested he should consider becoming a teacher. Feher always wanted to pursue a profession that would help make a difference in the world, so he decided to try.

He took a few education classes, including participating in Saint Vincent’s step-up enrichment program, where students plan a once-a-week class for 10-weeks in which home-schooled students in the community enroll. Feher noted that the step-up program is what really affirmed his decision to pursue educating, so he came back to school after graduating to finish his education degree.

Feher is happy with his decision to be an educator, and finds teaching rewarding and exciting.

“Seeing the impact I have on [the students’] lives is the best part,” Feher said.

Feher explained that one of the hardest aspects he’s encountered in his post-baccalaureate education is adjusting from biology to education coursework. Having to get comfortable with speaking techniques and presenting in front of a classroom was also a new challenge for him, but he said that once you get started, it becomes easier every time.

Feher is currently student-teaching at Franklin Regional High School alongside Mark Wolfgang, a biology and zoology teacher.

Feher is teaching two classes, and as the semester progresses, he will teach more.

Wolfgang observes while Feher teaches the class, and then offers critiques afterwards.

Feher sees Wolfgang as his mentor, and explained that this hands-on method has taught him a lot on how to become a better teacher.

“He watches me when I teach and picks up on things I might not notice that I’m doing, such as using filler words like ‘um’ or ‘basically,’” Feher said.

“He gives me great advice, feedback, and teaches me the things you can’t learn in a college classroom but only out in the field.”

Wolfgang has seen improvement in Feher’s teaching throughout the semester.

“He has been more engaging with leading class discussions and developing questioning techniques that encourage and facilitate learning,” Wolfgang said.

In addition to student teaching, Feher has a seminar class once a week at Saint Vincent where he discusses his progress in the class, works on his resume and portfolio and practices the interview process.

Feher is currently in the application process to land a teaching job after he finishes his education degree. He would like to stay close to home and find a job in the Pittsburgh area. He also aspires to coach a sport one day, most likely track.

Photo: Feher

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