Emily Ingistov planned to become an attorney, but sidestepped when she discovered the joy she found working with children!

“I entered the field of education in 2001, upon graduation from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Political Science. It had been my life’s dream to become an attorney, but I realized a deep passion for teaching when I was in my undergraduate program, and took part in a government funded program called ‘America Reads’ in my work-study program. Every day, I would ride my bike to a local elementary school near LMU and read to students and have them read to me. There was so much joy to be found in working with children! I discovered my calling to teach and quickly changed my mind about becoming an attorney.

I finished my undergraduate degree in Political Science and became a first-grade teacher in a private school in Los Angeles. Without any teaching background or credentials, I quickly jumped into graduate coursework at LMU in the School of Education for my Multiple Subject Credential and Master’s in Elementary Education. In 2003, I completed the program.

I continued to gain experience over the years across the elementary grade levels, and also taught third and fifth grades. It was during my time teaching fifth grade math that I discovered another passion: mathematics education! I loved helping students make sense of problems, and building up their confidence towards the subject. After six years teaching fifth grade mathematics, I was asked to be the middle school math teacher to all students in grades six through eight at my school. I jumped at the exciting opportunity! I enjoyed nine wonderful years teaching middle school mathematics.

During that time, I returned back to school to obtain my School Administration credential and an additional Master’s degree from National University--a Master’s of Science in School Administration. In 2018, I became the Head of the private Preschool-Eighth Grade school where I had been teaching since 2003. But after two years in school administration, the COVID-19 Pandemic was upon us. I quickly found myself with two small children who were stuck at home, and learning on Zoom. My husband and I realized I should be home with them to support their distance learning, while I could simultaneously teach students online. So, I jumped back into teaching mathematics but this time—online. It was an adventure, to say the least!

I taught fifth and sixth graders in a private specialized Deaf and Hard of Hearing school in Culver City. During this time, I learned about UCR University Extension’s Supplementary Authorization in Math. I could take four courses and obtain my Math Authorization to add to my existing Multiple Subject Credential. This would allow me to teach in a public school system, another amazing opportunity!

I learned so much in that short amount of time, and was able to immediately apply new ideas and strategies with my students. It was fun to share ideas with fellow math teachers who were also in the program. In 2021, after 20 years in private education, I accepted my first public school teaching position as a seventh and eighth grade Math and Design teacher in an International Baccalaureate Program (IB). It's been an exciting ride in the field of education!

I'm grateful for UCR University Extension’s program because it helped me open the door of public school teaching opportunities that I never would have had under my multiple subject credential. It is a wonderful program that is completely manageable and affordable for full-time teachers who want to increase their knowledge, understanding, and certification in a subject area such as mathematics.”

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your story, and teaching us what it’s like to find your true passion (or two!), and staying on the path to personal and professional satisfaction. All your students are grateful to have a teacher who is so totally committed to their success!

UCR University Extension alumna Emily Ingistov Emily Ingistov
BA, Political Science with Honors, Loyola Marymount University
MA, Elementary Education & Multiple Subject Credential with Distinction, Loyola Marymount University
MS, School Administration & School Administrative Services Credential with Honors, National University
Graduate, UCR University Extension
Supplementary Authorization in Introductory Mathematics