Very young students absorb knowledge like sponges, says Dawn Gruber, who will graduate from Montgomery County Community College with an associate’s degree in Education in the Early Years in May 2012.
Just how much tiny students are able to learn is thrilling to Gruber, 40, who also notes that they are learning these things for the very first time. Teaching young children is “a priceless joy,” she says.
Gruber enrolled at MCCC to further her education.
“I was teaching in a learning center, but it closed. When a new center opened, they were requiring a degree,” she explains.
So she’s earning credits, two courses at a time, toward certification to teach kindergarten through third grade in public or private school, and will finish her work at a four-year institution. Gruber, who has a 14-year-old daughter, also cares for children in her Horsham home.
Although she already has a college degree, there is a bright side to taking more undergraduate courses; they have brought Gruber up to date in regard to classroom technology, a lot of which is web based.
“I really enjoy my classes,” she says. “It has been nice to take them two at a time because I’m getting the most out of them.”
One favorite math teacher, John Pilla, offered valuable tips on how to teach math to children, she says. Gruber also particularly liked lessons in teaching from Early Childhood Education faculty Elizabeth Lattanzi and Meryl Sultanik.
Her future leading a classroom is taking shape in part because a scholarship through MCCC’s Foundation has paid for books and put off the need to pile on loans.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this otherwise,” she says.
~ by Rebecca Rhodin