Simpson College educates countless future teachers, but only a handful of them experience what it’s like to teach in another country. Erin Thompson ’17 of Fairfield is one of them, who student taught in Ireland.
While the experience was great and she hopes to keep traveling, Erin can’t wait to teach right back at home in the Midwest, after graduating with her degree in elementary education. Unlike many, she came to Simpson knowing what she wanted to study, but it was her professors that fueled her passion for education.
“[Jackie Crawford’s] caring and enthusiastic personality about education was contagious and she made me excited to come to class and learn,” Erin said. “She as well was always there for me if I ever needed help or had a question.”
Erin had heard from other private schools how hands-on the faculty was, but she found it especially true at Simpson. Often that sentiment also extended to other staff like security, career development and so many more.
“You aren’t just a number at Simpson,” she said. “With most of my professors, both in the education department and outside of it, I was on a first name basis with them and could just drop by their office and they would be always willing to do their best to help me with what I needed.”
The professors and the education program weren’t the only things that attracted Erin to Simpson. A chance to play volleyball and the welcoming campus also sweetened the deal.
“When I came for a visit my senior year of high school and sat in on a class and talked to some of the professors, I really felt at home and excited to start my degree here,” she said. “I also fell in love with the campus and its beauty and how comfortable I felt walking around it.”
Over her four years, Erin developed a love for intramural sports, involving herself in as many as possible. Sports had always been a big part of her life and a great way to make friends. Winning her first intramural t-shirt with her friends in floor hockey is one of her favorite Simpson memories.
“When I put myself out there in both intramurals and socially, it brought me some of my closest friends, who if I had never done that would never had met, she said. “I am so grateful to Simpson for giving me lifelong friends.”
While Erin acknowledges that it may be scary, pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and getting involved is one of the best things you can do.
“That is when you will find your best friends and make the important memories that you will take with you long after your years here are done.”