BS Early Childhood and Childhood Education, 2015
MS Special Education and Literacy, 2017
When I think back to the start of my passion for teaching, I remember one particular memory as a child. I sat in my bedroom with two friends as we played school, where I was the teacher and they were the students. I set up two desks and placed a piece of paper and pencil on each. I stood at my art easel, picked up a piece of chalk, and began to teach. I don't remember exactly what I taught that day, but from then on I knew I wanted to be an educator. This passion grew during elementary school as I constantly helped my teachers organize their classrooms, grade papers, collect homework, and write homework on the chalkboard. As I entered high school, I continued this love of teaching when I began coaching third, fourth and fifth grade cheerleading at my elementary school. My goal for the end of high school was to find a college that offered an incredible education program, where I could turn this love of teaching into a career. I knew I accomplished my goal when I found Iona College.
Iona College has given me the best six years I could ask for. While attending Iona, I’ve grown academically, socially, emotionally and pedagogically. I began my undergraduate work in 2011, taking core classes and waiting patiently until I could take my first education class. Once sophomore year arrived, I declared my major in Education and never looked back. Starting in sophomore year, I was given countless opportunities to grow as an educator through my classes and field work. I tutored students at Iona’s Success Center and traveled into the field to more than 10 different schools in the Westchester area. While in these schools, I worked with a diverse group of children, including English language learners and students with special needs. I took what I was learning in my education classes and applied it when I worked with these students. While at Iona, I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society) in April of 2015 and Pi Lambda Theta (Education Honor Society) in April 2016. These accomplishments, among many other things, make me so proud to be a Gael!
The professors in the Education Department went above and beyond to ensure that their students were successful in class and in the field. The relationship between the students and professors was a close one, more like that of a family. The professors are all experts in their fields and were eager to spread their knowledge to their students. They were always available when I needed help, guidance and support. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done. The department became my second home, especially when I was offered a job as the graduate assistant at the end of my undergraduate program. I now work alongside these incredible educators as the videographer for edTPA candidates, a rigorous assessment required for NYS teacher certification, while working toward my master’s degree.
Videotaping for the edTPA was a challenge I accepted with open arms. I previously took the edTPA during my senior year and passed, reaching mastery level. I wanted to use my knowledge to help other students experiencing this same process. I worked with students throughout the semester as they dissected the edTPA handbooks and taught in a classroom five days a week. I was able to videotape in every single grade level from pre-K to 12th grade, an experience for which I am forever grateful. In addition to helping the student teachers, I was given the opportunity to speak in and teach undergraduate classes. I worked closely with all of the professors in the department and continued to collaborate and learn from them.
As my time at Iona comes to an end, I thank God for the endless opportunities that this College has given me. Iona has provided me with the necessary skills and confidence to go out into the education field and start my teaching career. Iona has taught me lifelong lessons that I will cherish forever.
Iona’s motto states “Move the World,” and that is exactly what I plan to do.