If there′s one thing elementary teachers need to be, it′s well-rounded.
Besides being the sole instructors of literature, language, art, arithmetic, history and science, they also administrate naptime, lunchtime, recess and bus schedules and distribute snacks, grades and (hopefully) gold stars.
That′s why it′s crucial for elementary education majors to move beyond the books and get into the classroom. At Geneva, students are exposed to actual classrooms as early as their freshman year. By the time they're juniors, their schedules are set into blocks to accommodate student-teaching observations two to three days per week.
A graduate of the elementary education program at Geneva, LinnÃ©a Eriksson was thankful for Geneva′s early and frequent exposure to the classroom setting. Her junior year found her struggling with whether she could see herself as an elementary teacher, so she took her concerns to one of her education professors, who opened her eyes to the depth of the education realm.
"[My professor] helped me realize that I didn't have to limit myself," LinnÃ©a says, "but I could use the major to impact education in various ways, including designing curriculum, empowering others through educational reform, and even promote nutrition education."
Now sure that the field of education is where she′s called, LinnÃ©a says she feels "equipped with the necessary knowledge, teaching methods, and compassion for today′s classroom."
"At Geneva, I learned a great deal about what it means to approach your students with a love for them and the pursuit of knowledge," she says.
LinnÃ©a displays this love of others and knowledge in her own life, too. After her semester of fulltime student teaching in the fall of 2006, she completed a once-in-a-lifetime White House internship, meeting people and making memories she will not soon forget.
Her next steps will likely leave a lasting impression as well. This summer, LinnÃ©a spent two months in Switzerland working at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) as a counselor for six- to 10-year-olds as well as teaching English and drama.
When she begins teaching full-time, LinnÃ©a Eriksson will be well-rounded indeed.
- by Brooke Prokopchak ('08)
LinnÃ©a Eriksson was born in Sweden but raised in North East, Pa. After her stint with TASIS and a year studying Swedish, she hopes to teach elementary or special education full-time and eventually pursue educational reform with a possible focus in nutrition education.