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Allison Parsons

Class of 2013
Major/Minor: Human Development

The education department offers the wonderful, close-knit relationships with professors that many small schools offer, and this was one of my favorite things.

What makes the program here so unique and rewarding is the combination of this personal approach with the amazing opportunities available at this well-connected, big-name school.

My experiences as a Human Development major at Washington College have brought me so far during my time here. In my sophomore year, I decided to participate in the College’s study abroad seminar in Tanzania. I spent 16 days traveling throughout the country and seeing a world that was so incredibly different from the one I knew back home. For two days I worked in local schools, spending time with students who spoke Swahili. Participating in this summer seminar has been one of my most rewarding experiences at WAC.

Right from the start, I had an amazing support system. It’s a challenging program, and to say that I would have made it through without the relationships that I have formed with other education interns and our two elementary professors would be a lie. I’ve spent this past year interning in the fifth grade at Worton Elementary School. I was there for two full days a week during my fall semester, and have been there full-time (5 days a week) for the entire spring semester.

Initially, I hadn’t expected fifth grade to be a good fit for me. After my student-teaching experiences I am definitely glad that I was given this challenge. I have learned so much about the educational field, as well as about myself as a future teacher. I’ve learned that we have a lot more impact on a student’s life as a teacher than most other people in this world. And while we may only have one year to make an impression, that impression could remain with a child for the rest of his life. This philosophy has motivated me to try my hardest every day to make that lasting impact on my fifth graders’ lives.

Several opportunities to interact with educational leaders in Maryland also have been hugely rewarding. These professionals offered advice and gave us insight into what the educational field is like after college. In a few weeks the Elementary interns and I will be presenting our Action Research projects at a Maryland Professional Development conference in Towson.

As a freshman, I decided that I wanted to graduate in three years so that I could teach abroad for a few months during what would be my fourth year. Thanks to the ongoing support of my professors, I will graduate this May. On September 1 I leave for the Dominican Republic to teach English literacy through a volunteer program called Outreach360. Washington College has provided me with the support, tools, and confidence to know that I am ready to enter the world of education, and ready to start making an impact in children’s lives in our country and in others.