Elizabeth Mahoney ‘24
Although an education course is not a requirement here at the College of the Holy Cross, I still think that each student should take some sort of class in the education department before they graduate. Oftentimes, students forget about education classes or just simply do not know about the variety of courses offered within the department. I think this is such a shame because some of the lessons I have learned throughout my semesters taking education courses have been invaluable. In fact, I might go as far as to argue that an education course should be added as a common area requirement for each student to graduate. Granted, I have a strong bias towards the education department as I am a TEP student planning on teaching after college. Nevertheless, my experiences with the education department have prepared me not only to be an excellent teacher after I graduate but to be a better student during my time in college as well.
The education classes I have taken throughout my time in college have always served as an important reminder of my own purpose in education. During my class this semester, “Schooling in the United States,” we are constantly discussing the purpose of education and how this purpose drives how we teach. Being reminded of my purpose and role in education has been incredibly important for me. Education courses serve as a strong reminder of my purpose and why all the hard work I do is worth it. This reminder is especially helpful after a hard week of classes, which can feel defeating; being reminded of your purpose is always motivating and uplifting.
Taking education courses in college has also given me tremendous insights into my own learning process that has helped me improve drastically as a student. The courses I have taken so far have covered a wide range of content important for future teachers to know. I have learned about topics such as student engagement, classroom management, and information retention. As a future teacher, I always viewed this course content through one lens: How can I use this information to best teach my future students? It wasn’t until I stopped to think about the impact this information could have on my own learning that I unlocked so much value and appreciation for the education courses I had been taking. Of course, this is not to say that my classes were not valuable before. But after I realized the learning strategies I had been taught applied to my own learning, as well as my future students’ learning, I was able to grow immensely as a student. My whole mindset surrounding course content shifted. Once I did this, I utilized a variety of different learning strategies and methods that have been helpful in my own learning process. I implemented various information retention strategies and other course content into my study habits and saw a drastic improvement in my learning.
Although in an education class you are learning about how to best teach the future generations, you are also learning about how to best “teach” yourself. You are constantly being reminded of your value and purpose in education and finding out about your own learning process along the way. This is why I think education courses are some of the most valuable classes students at Holy Cross can take.