Meet Students and Alumni
Mallory Notholt '14
MSEd in Literacy Studies
Long Beach, NY
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 was 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 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 in literacy, to be a standout teacher.
What kinds of opportunities have you taken advantage of outside the program?
I have been subbing for about two years now, and have interacted with many different types of students from various backgrounds, and feel as though I can 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 Rappaport and illustrator Brian Collier, who shared their experiences of children’s literature. I suggest that everyone attend this conference because it really reminds you about your love of books and why you have chosen to get a degree in literacy.
How would you describe faculty in Hofstra's literacy program?
Every single professor I had at Hofstra was a mentor for me, and I am so happy I met them and hope to have lasting relationships 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 professors in the Literacy Department 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. I know that when the time comes that I graduate 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 be a reading specialist, but first I would love to have some experience in the general classroom. In addition to my degree in Literacy Studies, I have also been working toward a certification in Gifted Education at Hofstra. The MSEd allows me to use electives toward this 12-credit advanced certificate. I also have thoughts about 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 classmates for help. 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 not only gained some great mentors in my professors, but I have made some 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.