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The good thing about Curry, I know this is one of the points I looked at when I was looking at schools is they start so early with their field experience. People in other schools, their second semester junior year is when they start their field experience, whereas I started a year and a half before them.
You get to sample all different classroom types, they don’t put you all in the same setting. They put you in urban setting, a suburban, a low income area or high income area. You get to see all of the challenges so you know where to go, and you don’t see that as much at other colleges or universities.
I’m looking a lot at students who, English is not necessarily their first language it might be their second, third or fourth language. I want to start building my teacher’s toolbox on strategies I can use to best help those students.
I mean, the ultimate goal would be to work in the Boston Public School System. I feel like Curry has really started to prepare me for that just by the way their Ed department is set up with the placements, the field work we’re doing, the classes we’re taking. I get little bits of a lot of things that are happening in the world that just are further informing me for what I can expect in my classroom.
Dream Job: Boston Public Schools Teacher (Kindergarten or First Grade)
On Campus: Vice President of Education Club; Resident Advisor
Even as a high school senior, Erica Money dreamed of becoming a teacher. Eager to get real-world experience, she enrolled at Curry -- where Education majors start working in local classrooms early in their college careers and gain an array of diverse field experiences by graduation.
"Starting my sophomore year, we were going into classrooms for a couple hours a week," says the Milford, Connecticut, native. "I know people in other schools back home that started their fieldwork second semester of junior year. I started a year and a half before them."
Curry Education majors begin student-teaching during their junior years. By senior year, they teach five days a week in a cooperating teacher's classroom.
"A great thing about Curry is that you get to sample all different classroom types," Erica adds. "We are placed in a different setting each time -- urban, suburban one, low-income, and high-income -- so you get to see many different challenges in each."
Erica found during her field placements that she particularly loves working with kindergarten and first-grade students, and decided to focus on Early Childhood Education. She also discovered a passion for teaching English Language Learners (ELL), for whom English might be a second, third, or even fourth language.
"I've been lucky enough to work with ELL students and witness the progression of their language development -- both the positives and negatives," she says. "I've also seen the successful strategies used by their teachers that I can use in my own teaching."
She even recently undertook an independent research project to study the early literacy and language skills of ELL children. Erica says she knows both her academic studies and fieldwork will prepare her for the future.
"I'm building my teacher's toolbox. I'm filling it with strategies now that I'll be able to pull out and use to help my students when I have my own classroom."