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Alumni Update: Heather becomes a teacher

Heather Larson, Alum

We recently had the opportunity to get an update from Heather, a bright and inspiring recent alumna! Please enjoy this guest blog directly from Heather and learn more about what she has been doing since finishing her degree.

Heather's starts her journey

Carpenter Elementary School in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire is a place I know well.

As a young mom who was new to the area, I first visited Carpenter Elementary 17 years ago while holding the sweaty palm of my nervous five-year-old son, Everett. I felt warmth and acceptance from the principal, kindergarten teachers, and staff as I set foot inside. Many years later my daughter Allison attended Carpenter and now my nine-year-old son who is in third grade is there as well. 

This year was different. When I entered those big front doors and walked across the gleaming hard floors, I was the kindergarten teacher. I was reaching out and welcoming my new young students and their families, assuring them of the exciting journey of learning we would all be taking together. 

Life is a journey and though the path may have detours along the way, it is these detours and tests of faith that mold us into who we are. On my journey to finish my degree and become a teacher the single most important thing I would say to myself is, “Heather, don't give up! You can do this.” 

Heather perseveres

Did I have doubts? Yes, of course. But fortunately, I had professors at Granite State College who believed in me and encouraged me every step of the way (Christine Thompson at the Conway campus and Claude Caswell at the Rochester campus to name just a few).  I was also able to do much of my coursework by taking online classes, which was ideal.

When I heard our district was going to all day kindergarten in the fall of 2014, I kicked my studies into high gear. I wanted to be considered as a candidate for a possible full-time kindergarten teacher. Though I understood there was no guarantees, I knew I needed to get my ducks in a row in order to be considered for  a position.

Up until this point I was taking two courses each term and working as a paraprofessional during the school year, and a camp director during the summer. This was in addition to being a mother of three busy children and a wife, my two most important jobs. With the assistance of Granite State, we mapped out what classes and tests I would need to take over the course of 4 terms in order to finish.

Heather and her FamilyHeather shows determination

I took four classes each term, studied and passed the Praxis and Pearson’s Foundation of Reading test, and had many nights my head would not touch the pillow until well after 2 a.m. I kept these late nights in order to limit the impact on my family as I accelerated my course load.

Though "Mount. St. Laundry" was a permanent fixture in all of our bedrooms and crock pot meals became a staple, I mustered up every piece of strength and courage within myself to forge ahead and finish my degree and certification.  

I finished my college journey last summer with a bachelor’s in early childhood education with NH teaching certification. 

A kindergarten position did become available and with my portfolio in hand and on a USB drive (thank you School of Education!), I applied and interviewed for the position. 

Heather becomes a teacher

When the principal spoke to me and offered me the position, I had to catch my breath before answering as the tears of hard work and perseverance started rolling down my cheeks. I did it!   

Today I am proud and fortunate to be the kindergarten teacher of eighteen wonderful students. 

Heather's Advice

Dreams really can come true you just need to take that first step. You are worth it!

 Blog_byline_img_Heather_Larson

 

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