Learning While Leading


Leon Chau is a senior double-majoring in mathematics and secondary education math. Since his freshman year at Wichita State, Chau has applied his learning through a co-op position at Wichita West High School. He gets the opportunity to work in classrooms and co-teach with a primary teacher on a daily basis.

“I have gained immeasurable amounts of experience,” Chau says of his time at West High. “I get practice with all of the tasks that teachers normally do throughout the day.”

Working directly within a teaching environment has been a very important factor in his success in school as well as at work.

“You can read and study about something, but nothing compares to truly being there. The emotions that come with working in a classroom – happiness, frustration, pride – helps you understand how to thrive in that environment.”

Chau learned how to thrive this way early on, having to substitute as a math teacher for a year when the lead teacher was out. Not only was he just starting his co-op, he was also only a freshman trying to gain the respect and attention of high schoolers nearly his same age.

“I got through it and two of the seniors also chose me for the school’s Thank a Teacher event,” he gushed. “This experience shot my development way ahead of the curve.”

Chau is very passionate about the fact that his co-op has given him immeasurable experience and confidence – as well as an offer to continue teaching at West High next year.

“Try to get in the co-op program as early as you can,” he recommends. “You get paid with money and with experience. It is one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.”

For more information about co-ops and internships, contact the Career Development Center at (316) 978-3688, careerdevelopment@wichita.edu or stop by and see us in Brennan III or our satellite offices in CE 258, CH Lobby, and P2 A128

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