Brittany Barrow, 2013

Major: Childhood and Special Education
Hometown: White Plains, NY

“Teaching actual children and introducing them to material for the first time is so much different than practicing for your peers in the classroom. It’s amazing.”

Brittany Barrow wanted to be a teacher from the moment she started kindergarten.

So when a high-school teacher recommended that Brittany get involved in an organization called Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers, Brittany jumped at the opportunity. The program, designed to mentor and train culturally diverse and economically challenged students for careers in education, required that Brittany tutor other students in exchange for a partial scholarship to college.

Brittany spent four years—from freshman year to senior year of high school—tutoring middle school students in math after school hours. She knew she had found her calling and became an education major at STAC.

As a student at STAC, Brittany juggled a full schedule of courses, her duties as a resident assistant, and her responsibilities as president of the Campus Activities Board. She was also an active member of Alpha Phi Omega, the campus service fraternity. But she couldn’t wait to add one more thing to her list: student teaching.

“As soon as I got to STAC, I was able to take education classes. I loved not having to wait, and I enjoyed my classes. But student teaching was the best experience ever,” Brittany recalls.

Her first placement, at Kakiat Elementary School in the East Ramapo Central School District, was in a sixth-grade self-contained classroom. Her second placement was in a first-grade classroom at Granview Elementary School. Each placement was two months long.

“I got a chance to take the lesson plans I created throughout the years and see if they actually worked,” Brittany says. “It was beyond rewarding.”

Today, Brittany teaches sixth grade full time at Kakiat. She says she can’t imagine herself being anywhere or anything else.

“Everyone grows up saying they want to be a teacher, but I never changed my mind,” Brittany says. “I love my job. I love school. I’m very, very blessed.”