Curriculum and Instruction
- 2023, William & Mary, Bachelor of Arts in Education, Elementary Education with a minor in History
What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
I started my time at William & Mary pursuing a degree in applied mathematics, with a secondary interest in education. I quickly realized that was not my path! After focusing on education, I realized that I wanted to get into the classroom as soon as possible, so I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. I also fully switched gears and am pursuing a history minor as well.
As a student pursuing a bachelor's degree in elementary education, why did you choose this field, and what motivates you in this work?
I chose this field because of the outsized impact on the world that one teacher can have. A lot of my family members are educators or have been educators at some point in their lives, and I have seen firsthand the deep community change that can happen because of a teacher. I'm motivated to be the teacher that my students need, and to bring a mix of evidence-based curriculum and strong relationship and community building.
What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
After graduation, I plan to be a classroom teacher, hopefully 4th or 5th grade! I want to teach for a few years and then consider a master's program. I'm not sure if I want to stay as a classroom teacher or go another route such as a reading specialist, administration, or counseling, so the B.A.Ed. was the right degree for me. Hopefully, in 10-15 years I will have finished a master's program and will be settling into a career!
Why did you choose to apply to William & Mary and specifically to this program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
I knew William & Mary was the school for me when I toured the campus in a torrential downpour and still left absolutely charmed. Of course, the top-ranked academics, low student-to-professor ratio, and high standing didn't hurt either! The degree program pulled me in because of its immediacy. I would be taught by experts, and even those working in the public school system, and would learn what I needed to know to graduate and step directly into the classroom. I don't know of many other programs at William & Mary that can boast that direct application to the field. Additionally, the fact that the program is a bachelor's program lowers the cost so much and still prepares its students for the future.
What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
Nothing has been more influential than the practicum experience in the classroom. Being able to go into the schools as a student and immediately see what you've learned about in your courses is just so incredible. It's a great way to help build confidence and courage and to connect what you're learning about. Also, being able to work in the field helped me make professional connections and widen my network. Similarly, select courses are taught by experts who work in the schools, and that direct connection makes the course concepts that much more salient.
Any additional information you think a prospective student should know about the School of Education and its degree programs?
The professors want you to succeed and will help you do so. The same goes for your cohort of fellow students; build those relationships, and good things will follow.