This semester has been one filled with classes, exams, experience in the field, and knowledge that I will take with me into my teaching career! I have gained so much information this semester regarding elementary education, and I am grateful for this opportunity to learn each and every day. I have learned about different methods of teaching reading and writing, the history of education, the demographics of today’s teachers and students, and even created my own philosophy of education. Out of all of the amazing things that I learn each day at Fontbonne, the thing that has I have learned to be most important is collaboration. Working with others provides a strong foundation for any project, assignment or idea. By collaborating with peers or staff, you are able to view many sides to any given situation and truly understand it better than you could have alone. Throughout our lives we will always be working with others- either adults or children- regardless of what field we are going into. Collaboration is a key component to success as it improves communication skills, leadership roles, pragmatics, and has many, many other benefits. Collaboration does not always have to be in an academic setting either. Collaboration can occur between people of different backgrounds, faith traditions, origins, and a wide range of others. By collaborating with someone different from yourself, you are able to better understand a different culture and value the importance of everybody around you. I encourage everybody to get out there and go collaborate today!
During my time at Fontbonne, I have met some incredible people from fellow students to faculty members to Fontbonne alum. It is hard to single out just one person I have met who has had a lasting impact on me, but Dr. Kelley Barger has been the most influential professor I have had here thus far. Dr. Barger teaches my Methods of Teaching Reading & Language Arts course for elementary educators, a six hour block that includes teaching reading and writing strategies. For this class, we actually go to a local elementary school and read and write with third grade students. Although this course is very heavy in content and material, Dr. Barger makes it fun, exciting, and interesting the entire time. Not only is she a professional in her field, Dr. Barger is a personable and welcoming person who is willing to help at all times. She allows students to come to her with any questions or concerns, she is willing to work with you before or after class, and she gives away some freebies (yay!) during her class that will help us as educators in the future.
Dr. Barger is a professor who genuinely cares for and respects her students and only wants what is best for them. She connects with her students on a much more personal level than other professors I have had at both universities I have attended and makes an effort to get to know her students. Dr. Barger always keeps her students on the edge of their seat, urging them to learn more. She has original ideas, great advice, and is overall simply fantastic. If any current or perspective students (even if you are not an elementary major) get the chance to take one of her courses, I would highly, highly recommend it!
This past week, the Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) and the Student Alumni Association came together to host a professional development event on campus. This was a free event for Fontbonne students and included many different professional growth services such as resume assistance, a business etiquette discussion, and a round table event called “Creating your Digital Presence” hosted by Dr. Amy Peach, Director of Instructional Technology. This event allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and begin to take the initial steps of my professional career. This event, which was hosted right at Fontbonne, provided one-on-one instruction from professionals in many different areas to work with me in order to create a Linkedin profile, learn how to network on a variety of social networks, identity my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and get a headshot taken for my Linkedin profile! Overall, the event this past week truly made me get out of my comfort zone and try something completely new. This is just one of the many opportunities that Fontbonne allows for growth and strength-building in the professional world. Additionally, Fontbonne offers career services during the school year which helps students to figure which majors/ minors are best for them and resume-building strategies. Fontbonne University is a place for personal growth, professional development, and an amazing education.
Campus was busy this week. Sports were played well, events were held, but I want to talk about the sweet side of things. National Student Speech Language Hearing Association held a donation-based bake sale. This was a broke college kid’s dream.
The bake sale was simple. Step one, walk up and give what you can. Step two, take some baked goods. I gave exactly 76 cents, basically what I had in my wallet. I walked away with a baked good for my class. The club manned the table themselves showing how hard working student organizations are at Fontbonne. The people manning the table were generally happy that you were giving what you could. I left with 76 cents less, but a sweet treat and some gratitude for giving.
Although this isn’t a big event on campus I believe it truly showcases who we are as a school. Student organizations have the power to hold bake sales and create what they want. Small things like this make a small school. Seeing booths scattered in the halls at random times gives me, and I easily expect others, an element of surprise to break up a stressful day.
Today I got a chance to give to a student organization and receive something. Hope your day was as sweet as mine.