College and Career Diaries: Education (Early Childhood Development)

Hey guys,
Today I’m back at it with another “College and Career Diaries.” You all seem to really like this series. So, please feel free to comment through the contact section, which major/field you want to hear from next.
The person that I’m featuring today is a beautiful young lady named Destiny Jones. Destiny and I were fellow members of the Gospel and Cultural Choir at UCF. From the day I met her, she has always been a ray of sunshine.  She has grace, poise, and an air of authority. That is one of the reasons why the choir members often call her “First Lady”, like the First Lady of a church.
Before I get into the career questions, I would like to share a brief synopsis of her budding Instagram ministry “Developing Destiny“. This page is used to share inspirational Christian messages to its followers. Her faith is the most important role in her life.  With this in mind, her faith plays a big role in her future career endeavors.

Destiny Blog 1

Destiny Blog 2

Let’s get into it, shall we.
1. What aspect of education do you want to pursue? Why?
I started out wanting to be a teacher. Then, I started thinking “I don’t know if I want to be confined to a classroom.” There’s so much more that goes into education. But I really like studying child development because,  that goes over the milestones that kids meet at each level of development.  You can do assessment with that.  What I’m really interested in right now, is counseling…Just to work with families and children. If I do pursue a masters degree, I’m considering possibly going for counseling.  But, I’m not totally set on any specific thing because I don’t know if education is really the field I want to be in. I really am drawn to my walk with Christ, and Developing Destiny and all that I’ve got going on. I’m just trying to finish my bachelor’s and seek God about what to do after that point.
2.  How do people gain experience in education before entering the field? Is there internships?
For us, we have Practicum.  That’s the very last semester of your senior year, before you graduate. After you finish your courses, you take Practicum. That is a full semester, basically like an internship, but it’s not paid. Your in the school system, and have to do about 360 hours for the semester.  It’s basically a Monday through Friday, internship that you do, and they put you directly in the school.  So, you have that hands-on experience, and you can put what you learn from the education field, into practice or wherever you’re going.  A lot of people don’t just go for teaching. There’s so many other aspects. A lot of people are doing child-life work. That puts them in the hospitals.  So, they may have their Practicum in the hospitals, rather than a classroom.
3.  What has been your favorite class?
My favorite class has been “Child, Family and Community Services.” This class was different, because it was actually off-campus. It was at the Bailes campus, which is a UCP school. It’s really apart of UCF and the professor is a teacher at the school. We were actually having class in her classroom at night time. We had opportunities to volunteer at their school. We were able to do art-workshops, where we had to come up with a curriculum of academic games for the kids to play.  It was first through third graders.  For one of them, we had paint and had to see how gravity will make paint splatter. We had language arts, dealing with homophones and how words can sound alike but have different meanings…There were a lot of different arts and crafts that kids could get involved in.  I loved the class. She introduced us to Ron Clark.  We did a lot of talking about Ron Clark Academy. It was so awesome. Honestly, if I wanted to go in the direction of wanting to be a teacher,  I think it was an awesome class.
4.   What has been the biggest challenges that you faced in your classes?
For me, the biggest challenge has been the writing.  It’s not my strongest suit.  They’re very strict on professionalism because sadly, in a lot of schools its kind of dying down. Certain schools have strict standards and others don’t.  The teachers that the education program puts out there into the community, they want us to be professional and hold a higher standard. Their writing, goes along with that.  They want us to have professional writing abilities when we go out, so that people know that you actually put forth the effot in your education.  Also, that we can trust you to be able to teach our kids.   I know that it being my senior year, writing is something that I have to get the fear out of and attack it head on.  I’m definitely going to be using the Writing Center as a resource, Grammarly,  and anything that I can find that can help me build my skills and be more confident about my writing.
5.  What are some study tips you would give to people in your major?
I would definitely say attend class.  You know a lot of people think that studying is outside of the classroom. But you learn a lot in the education major, especially early childhood, by attending class.  Those professors put a lot into their curriculum. They put a lot in their semester schedules. They make sure that the classes are not just three or four hours of bookwork. There’s a lot of hands-on activities that put what we learn into use.  I would say, if they give you assigned reading, read, come to class prepared, but come to class.  Go to class and apply yourself.
6.  Would you say that graduate school is necessary with your field?
I would say yes and no.  There are a lot of people who actually already have experience working with children before they decided to come back and get an education.  That is because, in working with children they realized that they wanted to go in a particular field. A lot of people work as nannies or worked in daycares. There’s so much you can do with children that you don’t necessarily need a degree for.  You just need certain certifications (ex: CPR).  In the education field, if you are going to be a teacher, it’s probably best to go ahead and get your masters. People want to know that you have the education, behind the experience.
7.  What would you say is a common misconception about education majors?
I think a lot of people, when they hear education majors, they automatically assume,  that you are going to be a teacher. That’s a common misconception, because there’s so many different things that you can get involved in as an education major. You can become a principal of a school. You can be a counselor. You can be a child-life specialist, working in the hospitals with sick children and helping them get through the process of their chemo or whatever it is that they’re going through.  A common misconception about teachers, is that they’re always going to be confined to the classroom.  Or that they’re very strict guidelines that keep you from having freedom.  While the school system is very strict about what teachers can and can’t do in the classroom,  that’s where creativity comes again…You have to be respectful of the school’s guidelines, but also use your creativity to give your students the best quality education that they can receive.
8.  If you couldn’t be in education, what would you be?
I would definitely pursue philosophy,  and religious studies. That’s where my heart is.  I personally see myself being in ministry some day, because I feel like that’s the calling on my life.  I feel like God has really given it to me.  It is something that is so dear to my heart.  At times I wish that  I could study this…Counseling underneath that. Outside of teaching, counseling. Maybe an entrepreneur.

Well there you have it. I hope that you gained insight into what it means to be an education/ early childhood development major.  If you are interested in following Destiny on her personal and spiritual journey, follow her on social media.
@DevelopingDestiny
Also, please be sure to comment any majors you would like me to interview or new topics in general.

Have a blessed day,
Abisola

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Why I Go By My Full Name

 

Blog Post Full Name

 

Hey guys,

How are you? I wanted to talk to you about something that might seem silly since this blog is called “AbisolaBlog.” I wanted to talk to you about my name. My name is Abisola. It is pronounced (Abby-saw-lah). It is a Nigerian name from the Yoruba tribe. It means,  “Born into wealth.” Names are extremely significant in Nigerian culture. In my tribe (Yoruba), children are not named till the 8th day after birth. Then, there is a traditional naming ceremony in which prayers, and blessed names are given to the child by friends and family. I have always loved my name.  So why then for the majority of my life did I go by “Abby.”?

Let me give you a brief story. When I was 4-years-old, I decided to go by Abby because I was going to daycare and people could not pronounce my name. I decided to spell it A-b-b-y because I felt that A-b-i looked weird. I know, big decisions for a four-year-old. Growing up when teachers, substitutes or anyone reading my name would stumble trying to say it, I always raised my hand and gave them the easy alternative,  “Abby.”

Fast forward to March of 2017.  I had just found out that I got my first internship. In the back of my mind I always knew that I wanted to go by “Abisola” professionally. So, with this in mind, I made a Snapchat story asking everyone if they could please call me by my full name “Abisola”. The response was mainly positive. Most everyone began to call me Abisola.  Though there are still some people who call me “Abby”, even though I specifically introduce myself as Abisola. I even changed my Facebook and Instagram names to fit with my new-found identity. I felt like I had “come out” in a sense.  So, here are the reasons why I go by Abisola.

  1. I  Love Being Unique  

    Living in America, Abisola is definitely not a common name.  When I went by “Abby”, there was always another girl in my class or 10,000 other girls named Abby in my school.  “Abisola” sets me apart.

  2.  I Love My Culture

    As a Nigerian,  my name represents so much to me. It is another expression of my heritage. It is the name that was given to me by my parents with prayers, blessings, and cultural ties. I feel empowered and blessed to be authentically Nigerian, with an authentic name.

  3.  I Am A Grown Woman

    Let’s be real, “Abby” reminds me of a little Caucasian girl’s name. (No offence to anyone).  “Abisola” is such a bold and luxurious name. When you hear it, it sounds full and important. It’s like I am stepping into womanhood with this name.  “Abby” was who I was as a child. “Abisola” is the new chapter in my life.

  4.  I Don’t Want To Be White-Washed

    In so many cultures,  people change their ethnic names to something more “American”, as a means of assimilation.  I have come to say,  I’m done with that. I am who I am. I am a Nigerian woman. If anyone doesn’t like that, then that is there own problem. I don’t want to be forced to change who I am to fit white man’s standards.  Nigerian actress Uzo Aduba’s mom said it best “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.” For me, it is the same concept.  Rarely will you ever hear someone complaining about pronouncing a European name. If they can learn to pronounce those kinds of names, they can learn to pronounce,  “Abisola.”

 

Well, those are the main reasons why I go by my full name now. I hope to inspire others to love and appreciate their God-given names. If you have any questions, comments, and concerns, feel free to reach out to me.

Stay Blessed,

Abisola XoXo

 

Natural Hair Reveal

Hey guys!

I’m coming to you today with something a little different. I wanted to share with you my natural hair. For those of you who don’t know, I am a natural African woman. “Natural” means that I do not use chemicals to straighten or change the texture of my hair.  Essentially, what grows on my head, is what I  work with.  Although I do not always post pictures of myself on this blog, the pictures that you have seen of me have all been with extensions or artificial hair.

Let me give you a brief run-down of my natural hair journey. When I was a sophomore in high school, I went through a black empowerment journey.  My older sister had just became natural and she was learning to embrace the curls on her head. I also began to admire this style and embrace my blackness too. So, my sister cut off the relaxed (chemically straightened) ends of my hair. Fast-forward to my junior year of high-school and I experienced illness.  During this time, my mom felt that it would be easier to manage my hair if I used a texturizer (texture “softener).  Little did I know that this texturizer would damage my hair causing breakage and leaving my natural curl pattern in a shriveled mess. Instead of leaving my hair out, I wore protective styles to help alleviate the damage. Then, when my hair grew out some more, in January of 2016, I made the decision to cut off the texturized ends. I guess you could call it my second “big chop” (although it was not THAT short). Today, it is August, and I have been natural for over a year and a half. These past two weeks have been the longest amount of time that I have left my natural hair out. I have experimented with twist-outs, puffs, wash-and-go and rollers (that was a fail).  I have been enjoying it thoroughly. Nonetheless, I know that the growth that I have seen can be attributed to protective styles. So, before I do another protective style, I wanted to share with you what my hair looks like as of now. If you like learning about natural hair and want me to keep sharing my journey, please let me know in the contact section.

 

Natural Hair Reveal 1

The first day I wore my natural hair to college EVER!!

Natural Hair Reveal 2.jpg

Wash-and-Go (Excuse the white conditioner)

Natural Hair Reveal 3.jpg

The “Puff”: My only style for the longest

Another Day, Another Twistout

 

I hope you liked this post. Please comment what your favorite style is.

 

Have a wonderful day,

Abisola

My First Internship: Reflection

Internship Reflection 1

Hey guys,

I just want to say I’m sorry for being MIA for a couple of weeks. This blog post is long overdue and I am so glad I finally have the chance to share my experiences with you.

For those of you who don’t know, I just completed my first internship with WFTV Channel 9 news in Orlando. This news station is Orlando’s ABC news affiliate. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. Channel 9 is one of the most prestigious news stations in the Orlando area, and to top it off, the internship was paid. WHAT A BLESSING! So, without further a due, let’s get to the real tea about what it was like at my first internship.

  1.  Hands-On Experiences

As a broadcast journalism major, reading about certain concepts in a textbook does not compare to seeing the hands-on action in person. I was so blessed to have gotten this internship so early in my career,  being that I have not even had the chance to take any TV news classes yet. With this in mind, going into my internship, all I had really known about TV/broadcast news was the little bit of reading section that we learned in my print news reporting class.

On my first day, certain broadcast terms like stand-ups, teasers, VO/SOTs, and more were thrown at me. I recognized some of them from the 1 brief lesson we had in News Reporting, but a part from that, I had to fake it till I made it. We are fortunate enough to live in a generation where Google and the internet can be your best friend. I made sure I did my research. On the days off from the internship, I spent my time researching tips on how to be a better reporter. I would watch videos of stand-ups to first (figure out what it meant) and secondly to get an idea of how I could make one.

During my internship, I had the opportunity to grasp an understanding of almost every aspect of television news.  I shadowed reporters, anchors, producers, and writers. I learned how to edit videos. Let me just stop right there and make a disclaimer. I am not a tech-savvy person AT ALL. I had never edited a single video in my life before. But, I knew that was a goal that I wanted to achieve. I started with baby steps. Then, when one of the reporters challenged me saying that I needed to be able to cut a package (a full news story) by the end of my internship, I came back from the field (the scene of the story) and I cut my first package. I wouldn’t say I’m the world’s best editor, however, I can edit full packages pretty effectively.

I saw what it really took to be a journalist. Blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes a few choice words in between. But when the job was done, you know that you have made an impact in society. I learned that news matters, and quality story-telling matters the most. No #FakeNews here.

I even tried my hand into anchoring.  Let me tell you something, it is MUCH harder than it looks. I feel like people have the perception that all it takes is a pretty face and basic reading skills. Sorry hun, try it yourself and you’ll have another thing coming for you. It was challenging and I thought I did poorly, but I know that with practice, I will get better at it.

2.  Confirming My Dreams

This internship was an eye-opener for me to discover, that there is nothing else I would rather do than to be a journalist.  I gained a new-found love and appreciation for the craft of storytelling through news. One of the things that I learned especially was that my calling is for entertainment/lifestyle news. I had the chance to do 2 packages for Channel 9’s entertainment website, icFlorida.com. Those were the first packages I did and it felt so natural. I never felt so purposeful in my entire life.

From there, I did my own version of reporter’s packages. Being out on the field, interviewing people and creating a story was so fulfilling to me.  As a person who gets bored easily of monotony, this job is definitely for me. Almost everyday there is a new story to report on.

3.  Building My Professional Portfolio

One of the things that I am most grateful for with this internship, was professional growth.  I was able to make a demo reel. A demo reel is a compilation or montage of stand-ups and news packages that a reporter has done. This will be used to show future employers what you are capable of doing as a reporter.

I was also able to create a professional website.  I would love for all of you to please check it out.

abisolanews.com

This will be used to store my professional clips and build my portfolio. If you would like to see the work that I did during my internship, this is the site to go to.

 

Overall, this experience was incomparable.  I would not want to have spent my summer any other way.  This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to share my other internships with you all.

 

I hope you enjoyed.

Stay Blessed,

Abisola