In Focus: Mallory Notholt
What influenced your decision to pursue teaching?
As long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher, which is surprising because no one in my family is in the teaching profession. I attended East Stroudsburg University located in Northeast Pennsylvania where I got my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I am now certified in both Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education which means I can teach students anywhere from Birth to Grade 6. I also work at Coleman Country Day Camp on the south shore of Long Island where I attended as a camper and this summer just finished up my 12th year as a counselor. I have learned a lot from working at camp as well. I also volunteer as a coach, and so I feel that all of my various experiences working with children have helped me in my focus and willingness to be a teacher.
What brought you to Hofstra University for graduate studies?
I have always been a huge fan of Hofstra and the Education programs, so when it was time to apply for my graduate degree, I knew Hofstra was where I wanted to be after spending four years away from home. I felt as though Hofstra offered a lot of hands on experiences and would give me the knowledge I needed in the field of Education, and especially Literacy to be a standout teacher.
What kinds of opportunities have you taken advantage of outside the program?
I have been subbing for about 2 years now and have interacted with some many different types of student from various backgrounds, and feel as though I have the ability to adapt to any situation. I’ve also participated in programs like the Literature and the Imagination Conference last spring. I was able to meet author Doreen Rapoport and illustrator Brian Collier, an author and illustrator respectively, who shared their experiences with children’s literature. I suggest that everyone attend this conference because it really reminds you about your love for books and why you have chosen to get a degree in Literacy.
How would you describe faculty in the Literacy program?
Every single professor I have had at Hofstra has been a mentor for me, and I am so happy I have met them and hope to have a lasting relationship with them. They have always been there for me and have been helpful in every way. They are always willing to help you with schoolwork, and just not only be a teacher but a friend as well. I may be a little biased, but the Literacy professors are truly the best professors at Hofstra.
How has Hofstra prepared you for the job search process post-graduation?
Finding your ideal job in the teaching profession these days can be a little disheartening, but I know that Hofstra has, and will continue to give me the tools I need to become a great educator to future generations to come. I do know that when the time comes when I am graduating from Hofstra, I will have everything I need to land the perfect teaching position of my dreams!
What goals do you have for the future?
My long-term goals are to have my own classroom in an elementary school setting. I would love to one day being a Reading Specialist, but first I would love to have some experience in the general classroom. In addition to my Literacy Studies degree, I have also been working towards a certification in Gifted Education here at Hofstra. The M.S.Ed. allows me to use electives towards this twelve credit advanced certificate. I also have some thoughts of being a principal or some type of administrator, but we still have a long time to go for that.
What advice do you have for those seeking a certification in literacy?
Enjoy it and don’t stress! If you have gotten this far in your education and love working with children, don’t give up now! There may be times where you feel extremely stressed balancing work and class assignments, but look to your professors and your classmates for help, and think of the smile you will see on every child’s face and you will know that everything is going to be fine!
Since the Literacy program is such a tight community, I have not only gained some great mentors within my professors, but I have made some really good friends and potential colleagues. Every experience at Hofstra has been a meaningful one, whether it has affected my professional or personal life, and I am excited to continue meeting new people and continuing my lifelong learning at Hofstra.