A Vandal's Passion for Teaching
Bruce Berry worked hard as a single parent and non-traditional student. He is proud to share that he has experienced a side of the university that many do not get to experience, with his son proudly by his side. After completing his undergraduate degree in 2018, Berry received his master’s in education with a minor in politics in 2020.
Berry’s son was a toddler while he majored in History with an emphasis in European politics, religion, and philosophy. While at the university, he was on the honor roll of various academic fraternities and was featured in the article “A Promise to Succeed” in 2018.
Family housing was a huge deciding factor for Berry in enrolling at U of I. Through family housing, the two were able to develop relationships and create friendships that would extend beyond their time at the university.
“We made memories there that my son would not have been able to experience elsewhere: his close friendships, walking around the university together, riding our bikes around,” Berry said, proud of the fact that his son grew up with memories of living on a college campus. “My son broke both his wrists (box sledding) while in Moscow. Those are cool memories.”
With his degrees, Berry’s passion was to be a history teacher at a secondary public school, private school or charter school. Someone who influenced his decision to pursue a career in teaching was Sean Quinlan Ph.D. Throughout his college career, Berry took every course offered by Quinlan. Berry decided that, as a single dad, teaching would be the best career because it would allow him more time to spend with his son.
“Being able to meet people like Bruce is the best part of my job,” said Quinlan. “He was a really active student, entirely passionate about his studies.”
Berry applied his studies and acquired a job as 7th grade Social Studies teacher in Northern Idaho. The most rewarding part of his teaching career has been the impact on his students. Some of his most favorite comments from his class range from “Mr. B, you are intimidating but cool” or “Mr. B, I love history now thanks to you”.
Berry advises single parents who are students to always remember, “We are the non-traditional. That does not mean any less of a chance of success and on the contrary so many opportunities are available.”
As for career advice for any traditional students, Berry encourages taking advantage of all opportunities and to enjoy college responsibly because decisions made in college can affect one’s future career.
“I owe a lot to University of Idaho for who I am today as a person, and who my son is as a person.”
Article by Vania Campos - Journalism Intern