Major: Interdisciplinary Studies –
Teacher Education Option
Hometown: Crested Butte, CO
I had always told myself that I would not follow in my mother’s footsteps. Ever since she opened her own preschool for two year olds, and employed me during the summer, I have been hearing how “wonderful of a teacher I would be,” but why would I want I to be like my Mom? Sure, I admire her greatly and think she is one of the best teachers I have ever met, but I wanted to find my own path. During my freshman year, I crazily decided to take an “Intro to Education” class that counted as one of my general education requirements at the Fort (our nickname for Fort Lewis College). I am beyond thankful that I took that class, for I have never looked back. As much as I didn’t want to be like my Mom, I can’t help it—education is my passion and I love every second of being an Elementary Education major!
Fort Lewis has a unique ability to provide their students with hands-on experiences in their field of study. For example, in the three years I have been at the Fort, I have put in at least 75 hours of field study. Three of my education classes were involved with working in local elementary schools so that we (college students) can apply what we are learning to a true classroom. Statistics say that 3 out of 5 teachers will quit teaching with in the first 5 years of receiving a job; Fort Lewis students have a major advantage against that statistic because we are in classrooms so early on. We have the chance to realize if teaching is something we really want to do or not. If it turns out that it’s not for you, there is still time to choose another major and graduate from college in a decent time frame.
So far I have taught a class of 4th graders about the Dust Bowl from lesson plans I created with a group of four other student teachers. During the segment, we worked with our students twice a week, reading books, working on vocabulary, making at least 20 art projects, and helping them create a group project that was later presented to the whole class. That was two years ago and I still see the kids from that class around town. It is beyond rewarding when they run up to say “hi”. I have also worked with a fifth grade class learning about the Jurassic period and the dinosaurs that roamed the Earth. Call it cliché, but I’m pretty sure those students taught me more about dinosaurs than I did them—but that is what being in the education department is all about! They strive to grow us from learners to teachers; the professors I have worked with are beyond dedicated to us and our success at being the best-prepared educators we can be.