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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