Brendan Creed took the long way around to higher education. He’s been in the service industry since he was 18, and still works two full-time jobs as a junior in UWM’s School of Education.
Now 28, he was working as a bartender when one of his bosses encouraged him to head to college and told him he’d make a great teacher. Because of costs, Creed started his journey at MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College), entering a program that would allow him to take education courses that would transfer to UWM. “Pablo Muirhead (MATC coordinator of teacher education who earned his doctorate and master’s at UWM) worked with me to make sure I was on track and helped me make connections.”
One of the people Creed connected with was Tamara Badura, an adviser in UWM’s School of Education. “I met with Tammy Badura early on at MATC as soon as I started. She was very helpful in making sure I was taking the right courses and getting as many courses as I could at MATC so I could take advantage of the lower costs before I transferred over.”
Being an older student has a lot of benefits, Creed says. “I have a wealth of experiences I can pull from. It just helps your confidence as an older student. When I was younger, I was more worried about what classmates were thinking about me. That’s not a concern anymore, which is liberating.”
At UWM, he’s majoring in English education with a goal of becoming a high school teacher. “My mom’s been a special education teacher so she’s very happy that I’m going back to school in any capacity, but even happier that I’m in education.”
Creed sees the important role high school English teachers play, and that keeps him focused on his goal even though he’s not sure when he’ll finish.
“When we’ve got a lot of misinformation going around all the time, I feel it’s important to teach young people critical reading skills and how to weigh information.”