One Day,

I would love for all communities to become more accepting of each other…

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School and I’m currently a senior at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. I’m in the Early Childhood Education program working to get my bachelor’s degree.

What or who inspired you to become an educator?

I went through a lot when I was in elementary/middle school. My parents got divorced when I was seven, and I lived with my grandparents for a little. In addition, my PapPap fought and passed away from lung cancer when I was twelve. School was always a safe place for me. It was a place where I had the most amazing and supportive teachers. It was through those tough times that I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Essentially, I wanted to be there to listen to children on difficult days and provide support as they entered difficult times in their lives.

What is your current role? What other roles have you had in the sphere of education?

My current role is a student teacher in a 4th grade classroom. Previously, I have been a camp supervisor at my local YMCA, and I worked in a child care 2-year-old room.

Why are you still in the field of education?

I am in this field simply because I want to be there for the children. Though it is stressful balancing homework and classes throughout student teaching, working with students continues to be the highlight of my day. I am able to hear their humorous stories, I get to see them excited about the entertaining activities we complete in school, and I enjoy watching them grow into beautiful learners.

What injustices or inequalities do you see within the walls of your own school? What changes can you make to shift the field towards equity and justice?

I teach in a very rural community with very little diversity. The students are not necessarily exposed to other races, ethnicities, and cultures. I do see children holding biases, and I would love to see students become more accepting. We generally don’t read books that discuss diversity in culture, traditions, learning styles, learning abilities, gender, etc. Reading and studying and discussing more diverse books is one small change I can make to create a classroom culture that reflects loving and embracing humanity. I would also love to lead discussions about topics dealing with equity and justice. 4th grade should be having these discussions. It is essential to open up conversation regarding these important topics.

One day what do you hope for?

I would truly love for all communities to become more accepting of each other. No matter the race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, political views, etc. I hope we can learn to embrace differences and move our society into one filled with greater peace and understanding.