Making the transition back into full-time school after being in the workforce for several years was both exciting and nerve-wracking. I was ready to take my next step towards a career that I was passionate about but I was also nervous about the process of getting there.
At my past job at a telecommunications company, I went into work knowing that my day was going to look pretty much the same as it did the day before. Although I found comfort in this routine, I knew that this was not what I wanted to do forever. When April (and the start of my ECE program) rolled around, I didn’t really know what to expect. One of the things that alleviated some of my stress was knowing that I was going to be in a class with the same people throughout my entire year of schooling.
When I found out that Stenberg structured our program in a way that we would go through the curriculum course by course, rather than the traditional set of courses all run at the same time, I was even more relieved.
On the first day of orientation I was pleased when we came into class and were given the schedule for our entire program, as well as the contact information for any of the staff we may need assistance from during our time at Stenberg. One of the benefits of the small college atmosphere is that it is very welcoming and inclusive. I felt that right from the first day there were people who I didn’t even know that were on my side and wanted me to succeed. During that first week we talked about how each course would be three to four weeks long, with a few major assignments and typically about two tests per course. Talking about our course load made me a little anxious but our instructor Sharmaine gave us a lot of tips on time management that definitely eased some of that anxiety.
Another one of the great benefits of Stenberg is that the ECE program is run in a location that is attached to a childcare center and preschool. This gives us many great opportunities to observe and practice all that we’ve learned in the classroom.
After the first week of orientation on campus, our class moved to our new location and that was when I really got a chance to get to know my classmates. Our cohort (0416) of the ECE program is a diverse group of lovely ladies of all different ages, cultures and walks of life.
This makes for a very enriching classroom environment as all of our minds are opened by the different experiences and opinions of our peers. I believe we are all greatly benefitting from the diversity in our classroom because in our field we are always going to be faced with co-workers and families who come from different situations than our own. Learning to be accepting and sensitive to the beliefs of our classmates will only make us better educators and better people in general. So far we’ve gained a lot of knowledge that is only going to help us and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!