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Michaela Velichka '21

Early childhood education major

My favorite experience so far was at Minerva Elementary School with Mrs. Zifer. She gave me many opportunities to lead lessons on the spot, which helped to push me out of my comfort zone and to become more confident in my abilities.

Education

Early childhood education

Hometown

Willoughby, OH 

Making Mount Home

I heard about Mount Union while working with a Mount graduate. She talked highly of the campus and the Department of Education at UMU, so I knew I had to check it out. I came to campus for a tour, met Dr. Schneller, and knew I was home! Mount Union feels like a second home in that I always see familiar faces. Whether I'm on my way to or from class or just spending time in KHIC, I'll see people I know. With Mount being a smaller campus, it's easy to meet people and run into them often. Not to mention, Mount's faculty is so supportive and sociable, which helps a ton!

Creating a Future in Education

I chose early childhood education as my major because I've always liked helping others and I absolutely love working with kids. As I like to say, I can be the worst artist, a terrible athlete, and a pitchy singer, but none of it will matter to a child so long as they know you care about them. I also know I've been blessed with a great system of support in my educational journey, and I want to be a part of that for the next generation. My ultimate career goal is to be a confident teacher who makes a positive impact on my students' lives. Mount Union is helping to prepare me for this by giving me all kinds of background knowledge and experiences that will prepare me to take on the challenges that come with being an educator.

Experiences in Education

I've had many opportunities to go in and observe in the local schools. My favorite experience so far was at Minerva Elementary School with Mrs. Zifer. She gave me many opportunities to lead lessons on the spot, which helped to push me out of my comfort zone and to become more confident in my abilities. I've also started tutoring recently, which has been a great experience too. In education, you have to be able to clearly express yourself both in the written and oral formats. It would be awfully challenging to be a successful teacher if you couldn't get up and present in front of people or communicate with students, their families, and other educators, via email or written notes. The Integrative Core prepared me to be an effective communicator with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, which is important because not every student, family, or coworker of mine will be from a similar background as myself.

Advice for Potential Raiders

Follow your heart. Find something you're passionate about and go to a school that you think will help you make the most of your time in college. For me, a smaller school like Mount was perfect!