Magdalena Bartinkowska, Education in the Early Years

Magdalena Bartinkowska. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Magdalena Bartinkowska. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Magdalena Bartinkowska, 20, of Lansdale, leads a busy life: she student teaches in the morning, goes to Montgomery County Community College for a class or club meeting, works at a part-time job, and then either returns home or goes back to class, depending on her schedule. This might seem overwhelming for most people, but Bartinkowska handles her rigorous schedule very well.

Part of Bartinkowska’s hectic schedule stems from being an Education in the Early Years major. For her major, Bartinkowska is required to student teach at a facility for young children. Currently, she is a student teacher for a kindergarten classroom at a Bright Horizon Center. She is also working part-time as an Infant Room Teacher at a child care center.

Bartinkowska became interested in being a teacher when she was a young girl; she loved to play pretend teacher and give out assignments to her ‘students.’ When she was in high school, Bartinkowska’s interest in teaching grew when she took Preschool Laboratory 1 and 2, which were part of a dual credit program with Montgomery County Community College. This dual credit program, along with the close commute from her home, eventually led Bartinkowska to enroll at the College in fall 2012, since she already completed six college credits while in high school.

From the beginning of her time at the College, Bartinkowska has possessed a fiery passion for being involved on campus. She was the vice president of scholarship for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and she is also the treasurer of the Honors Club.

Bartinkowska speaks excitedly about how the Honors Program has affected her.

“The Honors Program did impact my whole experience at Montco,” Bartinkowska said. “All the people that I’ve met through the Honors Program…the students, the advisors, and even the teachers that teach the Honors Program classes…everyone part of that whole experience has impacted my overall time at Montco. And I feel like from all the people I’ve met in the Honors Club, I was able to build so many friendships that are going to last me for many years.”

During her time at the College, Bartinkowska received both a Foundation Scholarship and an Honors Program Scholarship, the latter of which fully covered the cost of her tuition.

“The Honors Program itself is like a community of students who like to challenge themselves more in classes and achieve higher grades and higher academics. It’s also a community of people that end up being part of your friends. It’s definitely a great way of making new friends, ‘cause we have an Honors Club that meets every week, every Monday, and we all get together…it’s not awkward. You walk in and pretty much know everyone in the club and everyone’s always welcoming. It’s people you can get together in big study groups or even hang out with. But there’s so much that I was able to learn and experience in the Honors Program.”

Bartinkowska completed her journey to obtaining her associate’s degree in May 2014. She’s been on the Dean’s List every semester.

Bartinkowska has some advice for current and future Montgomery County Community College students.

“One of the things that I take away [from going to MCCC] is to become involved. I know a lot of people say, ‘Oh Montco’s boring, there’s nothing there.’ But if you take the time, they offer so many different clubs, and the Student Leadership Center is always willing to help you out. They lead you to what clubs you should join, or even [recommend] some activities that your clubs can do. So what I would recommend is to become involved in someone way, and not just see it as, ‘Ok, you’re going to Montco just to go to school and quickly leave,’ but make the time to join a club, and do the different activities that the school offers.”

Bartinkowska plans to transfer to Arcadia University and dual major in PreK—4 and Special Education. She wants to major in Special Education to attend the diverse needs of all students.

As far as her future plans after Arcadia University?

“I definitely would like to teach at an elementary school,” Bartinkowska firmly stated. “With my certification, I will be certified to teach from PreK to fourth grade, so hopefully I will be able to get a job in that field. And then eventually, after some years of experience, I do want to go back for my master’s. Right now I’m going to go for my Masters in Education Administration, but I’m not 100 percent sure yet. But I think that eventually going into the leadership portion of education would be interesting; that’s something that I would like to look into. But first, I’d like to experience the whole elementary school teaching [field].”

~ Nichole Hall

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