Future teacher is finding her path by practicing
Jacquelynn Ruot always wanted to become a teacher. The senior early childhood education major from Niantic, Ill., hopes to teach preschool after she graduates from Millikin University, and she is taking all the necessary steps to prepare for her career by practicing in a real-world setting.
"I've always wanted to help other kids," Ruot said. "I also love that at Millikin I was able to study special education and become certified to teach English as a second language."
Ruot spent the fall 2017 semester student teaching at Warrensburg-Latham Elementary School, one of many local internships and clinical opportunities Millikin education majors can experience.
"There's just so much I've learned over the past four years," Ruot said. "I had to learn development and how the children are going to act in the classroom, along with other things. Without that I would have never succeeded during my studies."
Ruot noted, "I really enjoy preschool. It's the area where children first experience school and they learn everything from social norms to how to do their ABCs, reading and math, everything is new and I love to see those a-ha moments when they get it – it's a great experience."
Millikin's Early Childhood Education program prepares students to work with children in settings that range from infant through second grade. Students also learn how to provide developmentally appropriate, engaging, and child-centered experiences for young children, and develop skills needed to effectively engage families in the education of their children.
Internships in the classroom begin in the first year of the program, including experiences working with children who are culturally diverse, who qualify for special education programs, and who are English language learners.
"Millikin has helped me become a well-rounded person," said Ruot. "I enjoy the small class sizes and all the School of Education teachers know your name, it's really personable here. I view my journey as a roller coaster ride; you're going to have your ups and downs, but in the end, you're going to get off that roller coaster, you're going to be at your job, and it's going to be great."