Jay Bhakta is a 26-year-old born and raised Californian, now residing in rural Virginia. He attended the local California State University, Chico, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology with an Education Emphasis. After graduating he decided to move to Los Angeles to get experience in urban schools, while earning his master’s in education at University of Phoenix. Before moving to Virginia, he was tutoring math for a company similar to PCG Education.
Bhakta then discovered EdForce, PCG Education’s innovative staffing solution, that enables schools and districts to place qualified instructors quickly, filling critical vacancies. EdForce gives non-traditional candidates a foot in the door into the teaching profession at no cost to the candidate. Meaning, he or she does not need to complete a teacher preparation program to start teaching. Edforce presented an opportunity for Bhakta, as it was hard for him to get into teaching from the outside.
He was excited for the prospect to move from one coast to the other because he was told he would have endless support as he taught. This is because EdForce also validates K-12 professional development for first year teachers. Combined with 1:1 on the job coaching and mentoring, instructors are successful in their first year of teaching and beyond. Bhakta taught 8th grade science for six weeks and was thrown in a quite unique situation. The students did not have a teacher for nearly the whole year. By the time Bhakta arrived, they needed to review for their state test.
“I really enjoyed the challenge,” said Bhakta.
“I love how the students have gotten to know me and they don’t mind being in my classroom. The situation allowed me to gain a better understanding of working with other teachers to better instruct my own classroom. I liked the one on one and group meetings because I could listen to other teachers talk about how about how well their teaching experience was going. I gained a wealth of knowledge listening to them and learned how to finetune tasks, such as creating seating charts.”
Toby Williams, PCG Education Recruiting Specialist, states, “He was willing to relocate all the way to rural VA to prove that he’s a good teacher.”
“Mr. B,” as his students call him, promotes curiosity and the asking of questions in his classroom. He likes to have written text, visuals, and auditory elements in all his lessons. He also loves introducing labs because, “they provide a 4th element of touch.” He also notes that all students learn differently than others and some learn best by tactile labs and projects.
“The most important thing I want my students to learn is how to make mistakes and learn from them. Science can’t function without mistakes.”
Danville superintendent and HR director says Jay is flourishing in his new role.