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Vasilis Topalis

BA Adolescence Education, Expected 2017

Thinking back to my days as a child, I can still remember my father always telling me the stories about how fulfilling and fun it was to be a teacher in Greece. He would always tell me "Vasilis, education is the stepping stone to greatness and achievement. Its importance can never be understated." Hearing that constantly and having a rich and historical background in my Greek heritage subsequently led to my interest in the field of education and teaching history as a whole. As time progressed I became increasingly engrossed in the idea of becoming a teacher and following in my father's footsteps. I want to be able to carve out a significant niche and role for myself in the realm of education and excellent schooling is the first step in doing so.  

During the extremely pressing and strenuous time period of attempting to pick out the "perfect" school for yourself, I had a plethora of varying options presented before me as to where I would attend for the next four years of my life. I had heard about Iona College from a few of my older friends and cousins who had previously graduated from the school. They had glowing and admirable things to say about Iona and thus, I decided to conduct some research of my own on the school. I decided to give the Iona a chance with a tour and I immediately fell in love with the campus. The campus may be on the smaller side but I believe that is what adds to its charm and it is located within a very desirable area in New Rochelle. Also, the older buildings that are located around campus add to the atmosphere and provide an historic impression which allows people to know that the campus has an interesting past to learn about. As I am now entering my junior year, I can easily say that attending Iona College was one of the best decisions of my life. At Iona, you are not merely another number in a large lecture hall. The small student body that is present at Iona College allows students and professors to create an innate and cohesive bond that allows them to operate better together and facilitate more efficient learning. Students are provided with the attention that they NEED and that is one of the things I love the most about this school.

As an aspiring future educator of America, Iona College has provided me with the resources and knowledge necessary to be successful in the real world. In stark contrast to a multitude of other schools, the Education Department at Iona believes that early exposure to classroom settings will help in providing experience and insight as to how to best operate in the classroom. Starting with mandatory tutoring hours in the fall semester of your sophomore year, followed by field work in the schools surrounding the College in the spring, it allows education majors to be able to experience the phenomena of being on the other side of the desk. As opposed to just talking about it in a classroom and taking notes, the way that the Education Department is run here permits students the opportunity and the experience to work in an actual classroom setting. Firsthand exposure beats conjecture always – no matter what is being talked about. I felt as if I was being allowed to practice my desired future craft and receive good grades and recognition for doing so! It is an extremely rewarding experience. I want to be able to help future generations of students reach the pinnacles of success and realize their true potential/desires. Iona College's pristine Education Department allows me the chance to do so, for which I am forever grateful.