When it came to deciding which college I wanted to attend, I was terrified. I applied to Champlain because I wanted to expand my writing skills and the Professional Writing major offered just that. Writing wasn't the only thing I wanted to do. In high school, I was blessed with teachers who really cared about me as an individual and they helped me follow my heart; I wanted to pay it forward and make a difference. I decided to do two things: follow my dreams by pursuing writing and become the best teacher I could.
On Accepted Students Day, I found my niche. I was coaxed out of my anxious shell in front of a room of strangers and asked to rattle off a poem I had just written. That action alone, the ability to make me be open, made it clear there was one place I needed to be: Champlain College.
The most important thing the Professional Writing program has taught me is not to pigeonhole myself. Veins of opportunity are opening up in front of us every day, and all we need to do is recognize and act on them. If there is something I want to do, there is nothing stopping me except myself and my own self-doubt. Once you dispel all that, the possibilities for what you can do are limitless. Hayley, Professional Writing & Secondary Education Double MajorWest Hartford, CTDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Laurel knows her role goes beyond the classroom. "I traveled to Europe, worked for a professor, served as a resident assistant and taught school in two countries. I am more than just an education student."
"Champlain has made me more confident. I gained a lot of good skills to market myself. I learned to write well and am proficient in several software programs. In the schools where I train, the teachers like the Champlain students and know that we are on top of things. Other college students usually intern in their senior year for only one semester, so they lack long-term contact and experience."
"After graduation, I do plan to teach, perhaps overseas. I like being out of my comfort zone. That's something I would not have known if I had not come to Champlain. I feel I'm ready to do many things."
Laurel, Middle School Teacher Education majorIpswich, MADIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
When I was touring and visiting schools, Champlain was always on my list. I was really attracted to Champlain's Upside-down Curriculum, and being able to work with kids right away. There are seven elementary schools in Burlington, not to mention surrounding towns, and the volunteer opportunities and student placements give you the chance to apply what you're learning.
I already have four years of experience working with kids, and those experiences are all so different. I have been able to view my position working with children in so many different ways that I feel like my competitive edge is not only the amount of internships I've had before graduation, but the different learning experiences that have all taught me something new. I made lessons for the whole class, worked one-on-one with students and facilitated small groups activities.
My student placements let me do all sorts of things to practice my teaching skills. The classroom work we did was the theory piece where we learned about teaching, but the placements were the real practice. We actually learned how to use the theory and become our own teachers. Once I got to my student teaching, everything that I did and learned came into play. I used all of those tools I had to have an amazing time in my fifth grade class, but also learn more and change my perspectives in education and who I am as a teacher.Josh, Early Childhood/Elementary Teacher Education MajorSandown, NHDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
I used to volunteer in my mother's kindergarten class as an assistant whenever I could and I absolutely loved working with her students. One of the best parts about being a mentor was really understanding where students are coming from and developing ways to meet their needs.
This experience led me to discover my passion in education. When I started looking at colleges, my high school academic counselor recommended Champlain for their education program. I instantly felt at home; Champlain was the ideal college for me because I would have field placements starting my first semester on campus.
These placements have allowed me to work with children ranging from three to ten years old in very diverse environments, from Montessori, public and private schools to inner city and magnet schools. From all my placements, I learned that I love working with third graders because that's where students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Instead of teaching concepts such as phonemes and sound-to-letter correspondence, I'm able to let children use those skills to learn history and science concepts and help them develop their skills as a reader and a writer in the classroom.
By the time I graduate, the combination of my first-hand experience at seven student placements, the leadership skills I've gained through being a Peer Advisor and the networking I've done with faculty and staff on campus makes me feel confident entering the job market.
Rebecca is currently applying to be an Au Pair in France.
Rebecca, Early Childhood/Elementary Teacher Education MajorSharon, MADIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES