Emily MacDonald ’23
Elementary Education major, Diverse Learners and French double minor
Kindergarten Teacher in NYC Public Schools

How did Butler prepare you for your career?
Butler’s College of Education does a wonderful job of preparing educators by getting students into classrooms in their first year. I began observing different teaching styles and planning lessons during my first semester at Butler. By senior year, I was student teaching and already had made many connections with schools and educators across the Indianapolis area. Additionally, I was able to learn what I did and didn’t want to incorporate into my future classroom.

What skills or knowledge gained at Butler have been most useful in your career? 
Learning how to teach and support all types of learners from various backgrounds is a skill Butler taught me that I use every single day. I learned how to differentiate lessons in order to meet the needs of my students so that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed. I learned how to ensure all my students feel represented and know that they matter when they enter my classroom. Everything I learned has helped me create an inviting and warm environment for my students to thrive.

What is the most important thing you learned at Butler?
The most important thing I learned at Butler was the importance of leaning on your colleagues and mentors. Especially in the teaching community, it is crucial to have a support system you can bounce ideas off of, vent to, and learn from. My professors in COE did a wonderful job of creating a cohort of passionate educators that I will lean on throughout my teaching career.

Who influenced you the most while you were a student?
Dr. Hochman is the most caring, selfless, knowledgeable, inspiring, and wisest person I had the opportunity to learn from. He taught me how to deeply care for my students, while still caring for myself. Whenever I need advice, Dr. Hochman is the first person I go to because he always knows the right thing to say. I would not be the educator or person I am today without having learned from him. I am eternally grateful to Butler’s COE for providing me with that opportunity.

What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing a career in this field?
Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there. If you do not have the passion and love for working with all types of students and learners, this might not be a sustainable path for you. With that said, it is also the most rewarding job on the planet. You get to see your students grow while you grow right alongside them. All of the hard days are worth it when that math concept finally clicks with a student, or the kid who has been struggling to read finally finds joy in picking up a book. Teaching is hard, but it will eventually be worth it.