- Elementary Education
- Graduation year:
- Franklin, IN
Q&A with Madeline
What have you enjoyed the most about your time at INSPIRE?
One of my favorite things is listening to other teachers and hearing what they have done or not done well and what advice they have for incoming teachers. I think INSPIRE does a really good job of that. My favorite things about INSPIRE are the Armstrong Panel and the teachers of the year because I feel like they are so notable and there is so much to learn from them. I am actually hoping to, over thanksgiving, observe one of the Armstrong teachers who lives close to me. Without INSPIRE I would not have been able to contact her or hear her story.
Did INSPIRE help with your transition to college?
Definitely. Living on the INSPIRE floor gives you a direct opportunity to connect with people that you have the same interests with. People on the floor love working with children and are mostly excited about education. Having everyone around you excited and passionate about the same things that you are is uplifting and it helps give me a new perspective every day.
Have you formed any lasting relationships?
Being on a floor where everyone’s end goal is to be a teacher, you all automatically understand each other a little bit more so making friends seems a lot easier than it would be if you were on a floor where no one had anything in common with each other. That was one of the reasons why I chose INSPIRE. It is because I knew I would make those immediate connections with those people. It also helps that my friends and I can then sign up for the same classes for the next semester. Last year, when I moved onto the floor I did not know anyone that lived on the floor but there was at least one person in each of my classes on the floor. This was really nice because then we could talk about homework or projects or study together for tests and quizzes. So then not only did you have that friendship from living on the floor together but you were also in class and becoming teachers together which is a really exciting process.
Do you feel like being part of INSPIRE has influenced your ideas about your career in any way?
I have known that I wanted to be a teacher my whole life. When I thought about being a teacher in High School, I thought I would be paired with a mentor teacher who would teach me everything. Now that I have been on INSPIRE, and I have formed these relationships, I know that within the first week of my classes I am going to be skyping or Face-timing the people that I have met either this year or last year from INSPIRE to talk about my experiences. I didn’t think about that as even an option before I came to college but now that I have these relationships I can tell that they are going to be lifelong relationships.
Have any of the seminars stood out to you?
I absolutely love the Armstrong panel. There was this teacher last year, Stacy Blosser, and I aspire to be her. She has a classroom that is Indiana University themed and she gets her kids so excited doing these Indiana themed activities. She showed us videos of her kids doing things in her classroom and they all seemed so motivated. I have never seen a class as animated as her kids were. She puts a lot of energy into her classroom and I think she gets that energy back from most of her kids. They all seemed really engaged and excited about projects and it makes me happy to see someone else so excited about education. I think a lot of teachers that I have encountered sometimes seem like they are in a rut and I don’t want to be that way. It’s such an important job.
What has been your favorite experience on the floor?
The trips are awesome and the teachers you talk to are really cool but the true genuine people you meet on the floor and the memories and experiences you have with them, I think those are the moments you are going to remember.
The true genuine people you meet on the floor and the memories and experiences you have with them, I think those are the moments you are going to remember.
What has your experience of being a Peer Leader been like?
I love seeing the freshmen and how they are doing the same things I did last year. I hope that I can help them. I know that I made mistakes last year so I try to sit in the lounge when they are doing homework and help them so they do not make the same mistakes I made. I also think with scheduling, it is very helpful to have someone there. Just to have that person that has a little more experience than you do is really helpful because there are a lot of changes between high school and college.
What have been some of your favorite experiences as a Peer Leader?
It’s just simple things like getting coffee together and helping freshmen get acclimated to campus. During welcome week we had things planned every single night.
What are some of the responsibilities of your role?
You are supposed to be a positive role model. You will be assigned three or four students as your mentees. You want to make sure that everything is going okay and if they have any questions or needs you can point them in the right direction. As peer leaders, this year we started to organize educational events like movie nights where we watch movies about equity and diversity.
Is this time-consuming?
Not only am I a peer leader, I am also the president of the Leadership Council, I am on dance marathon, I recently joined a sorority and I am membership chair for Indiana Education Association. So, my response to that question is I think it is what you make it. The more you participate, the more you are going to get out of it.