About Me


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Hello! My name is Carolyn Smith, and I am a twenty-year-old college student studying at SUNY Plattsburgh. By the winter of 2017, I will graduate from Plattsburgh with a BA/MST degree in Secondary English Education, so I can teach English to grades 7-12.

I decided that I wanted to teach English while I was in high school, trying to decide what my major would be in college. I liked the idea, but I wanted to try it out before I committed. As a result, I came up with the perfect idea for my Girl Scout Gold Award Project: teaching eight 9-10 year olds how to write a picture book. I spent 80 hours total on the project, including creating lesson plans, contacting the local elementary school, speaking with parents, and of course, teaching the girls in my workshop. We spent 5 weeks together, for roughly an hour and a half each week. I taught them the basic structure of a story, and I helped them develop characters and a plot. They each wrote and illustrated their own story. As they wrote, I checked their spelling and grammar, teaching them how to correct their mistakes. When they were all finished, I used an online publishing service to turn their manuscripts into physical books, which I later donated to a kindergarten class outside of my community. This project became an invaluable experience. I got experience creating simple lesson plans, being professional while working with administrators and parents, and of course, teaching young students. It made me sure that being an English teacher should be my career.

Another experience that is preparing me for teaching is my current job as a Writing Tutor in my college's Learning Center. Each week, I work with multiple students, helping them with their essays and papers. I can help a student that is at any point in the writing process--brainstorming, organizing, proofreading, or anywhere in between. I teach my peers how to have a strong thesis, how to structure their paper in the most effective way for their topic, and even where exactly to put commas within a sentence. They come to me usually voluntarily, unless their professor has mandated it, and they always leave more knowledgeable and confident in their own writing. This practice also helps me become more confident in knowing the material, and assures me that I will be able to teach it to a classroom full of my own students in the future.

 

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Carolyn Smith
Email: csmit034@plattsburgh.edu
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Last Updated: November 30, 2015
©2015 Carolyn Smith