Passion For Teaching, Political Science, Leads Grad to Principal Role

Jordan Filderman, ’09, M.A.’11, always knew his purpose was to make a positive difference in the lives of others. As the principal of Hebbville Elementary, Filderman uses education as his vehicle to serve underrepresented and underprivileged students in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.

“My personal philosophy is that every child deserves an equal and quality education,” said Filderman. “This is how we create functional and educated adults: by intervening in the earliest part of their education and fostering it throughout their development.”

Even though education was where he always saw himself, Filderman has never been one to take the traditional route. As an undergraduate, he let his fascination with political science lead him down an academic path that opened the doors to a career in education.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a principal,” said Filderman. “However, I am very passionate about policy and politics. I wanted to be able to explore that fascination while I had the chance, knowing that I’d be implementing it into my future in some way, shape and form.”

After earning his undergraduate degree, Filderman applied for his masters in teaching to help blend his knowledge of political science with his desire for change in education. This led to his involvement in the nonprofit organization Teach for America and landing him a job as an English teacher in his hometown of Baltimore.

“I’m not really a literature guy,” said Filderman. “It was an interesting adjustment because it was my first time being truly independent as a teacher, but I loved knowing that I could use my little microcosm of a classroom to spark excitement to learn in my students. I also loved that everything came full circle and I ended up at home.”

Throughout his four years spent in the classroom, Filderman channeled his favorite UCF professors in his lessons, making sure that students felt the enthusiasm that he once felt as a student himself.

“My goal in the classroom was to inspire students to love learning the way that I was inspired by my time at UCF,” said Filderman.

The classroom was only the beginning for the young teacher. After four years of poetry and prose, he took an opportunity to apply for an assistant principal position that opened up at a local Title I school. Hebbville Elementary, located in Baltimore, is an institution that equips students with the necessary skills to progress in their education.

“As an (associate principal), I got to see firsthand the differences between being in the classroom and being in a role with more authority. Even though I loved being in the classroom with the students, I felt like I could do so much more for them with my role at the time.”

In the last year, Filderman has become the principal of Hebbville and continues to push for equal access to quality education and a holistic student experience.

“A personal philosophy that I have is that every student, every child, counts,” said Filderman. “For children to become successful adults, the opportunity for a good education is imperative, and unfortunately not everyone has been awarded that opportunity.”




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