Theodore Teddy Beaufaÿs '10
B.S., Child Development
Teacher at German International School of Boston, Boston, Mass.
I majored in Child Development and graduated in May with a teaching certificate. Three weeks later I had a position teaching English, art and history at the private German International School of Boston in Massachusetts.
The biggest thing I learned at Colby-Sawyer is the idea that you're teaching the whole child. A kid is not just your student in class. He's also part of a family; he's a big or little brother, or someone whose parents aren't together anymore. There's a whole life behind that student in your classroom. We need to understand who the kids are, what they need, and what excites them to learn. When you study child development and education, you're really studying developmental psychology.
The philosophy taught at Colby-Sawyer is the constructionist approach, which is literally that the students construct their own education. I use that approach as much as possible now by having my students work independently and with others, aside from teachers. That's putting your trust into the student.
Many Child Development classes at Colby-Sawyer come with a practicum, just like a science class has a lab. The college has its own early childhood laboratory school, The Windy Hill School, right on campus. Windy Hill offers the opportunity to do real, practical work with toddlers and kindergartners instead of just learning about what a classroom would be like. By the time I graduated, I'd completed three practicums and had experience teaching in two public elementary schools.
My student teaching experience was significant in helping me understand how to be a teacher. I doubt I would have been able to find a full-time job right out of school without it. I student taught in a second-grade classroom in New London for half my senior year. It's an awesome public school, and I worked with the kids every day. I got to know them and give lessons and learn about classroom management as well as teaching. Now I have student teachers in my classroom!
What makes a good teacher? You have to be a people person. Kids are little people. You have to be outgoing and flexible. We need teachers who are motivated to learn and grow and participate in their own education so that they can pass that love of learning on to their students.
Kate Dunlop Seamans
Colby-Sawyer has an affiliation agreement to assist qualified Child Development majors into master's degree programs at Plymouth State College for those interested in certification (M.Ed.; M.A.T.; M.B.A. and M.S. degrees) and with Springfield College for those interested in mental health-related fields.