Tell us about how you chose your major.

During my first education class freshman year we were assigned a field site to visit. I was particularly nervous about this first experience flipping from student to teacher. After my first day in that third grade classroom, I felt empowered. Realizing in that moment how much teachers mold children and have such a great impact is when I knew that I had to pursue the career path of an early childhood educator.

Share a great experience related to your major or future career that stands out.

During my junior year, I was completing observation hours in a kindergarten classroom and helping out where I could. This involved assisting students during their literacy and math blocks throughout the day. On my first day at this new site, I was prepared, hopeful, and excited. By the end of the day I was energized by the students in the classroom and felt inspired. As if that wasn’t great enough, I overheard my cooperating teacher discussing with the principal how wonderful the Early Childhood Education program at John Carroll must be because she was extremely impressed with me. I hold on to that moment and am forever grateful for John Carroll preparing me to earn that compliment.

Who at JCU have been mentors for you?

Dr. Annie Moses is my go-to mentor at JCU. She opens her door and clears her crazy schedule if there is a student who needs her. She helped me through the times where work piled up and stress was high. I distinctly remember going to her one day when I was feeling the pressure of schoolwork more than usual. As I was voicing my frustrations, I noticed she was sorting through sheets of paper. When I had finished talking, she silently placed a binder and a stack of papers in front of me; it was all the work I had done in her previous classes. She reviewed the work with me reminding me of all the progress I have made. After I walked out of her office that day, I felt revived and proud of all that I had accomplished. Without her guidance and support I would not be where I am today.

What’s “next” for you?

For the rest of my time at JCU I will be student teaching in a kindergarten classroom in the Beachwood City Schools. I am thrilled to put all my energy into this experience and really dive in to the world of education. After graduation, I was accepted into my first graduate program where I could earn my Special Education K-8 and Reading Specialist K-12 Master of Education Degree and Certification. I feel prepared for this opportunity due to the exposure I have received from all the different types of schools I have spent time in through the education program. If I do not head straight to graduate school to further my education, I will head out on a job search with the help of the connections John Carroll has helped me make.

What advice do you have for a high school student considering your major/career?

My advice to a high school student considering being an Early Childhood Education major is to be fearless. Learning to teach involves taking risks and making many mistakes along the way. Being a risk taker is the best way to learn and you have to be ready to throw yourself into the experience.

Specifically, why should a high school student choose John Carroll?

For education majors, John Carroll is hands down the best choice a prospective student can make. JCU is minutes away from urban, suburban, special education, and Montessori schools which makes site visits convenient. Also, all the professors in the education department are personable and make the effort to know every student. I feel at home here and my education peers have become like family.