North Syracuse, NY
From the day Breanna Burrows stepped onto the Cazenovia College campus, she knew that she had found the perfect fit to continue her education. She says, "I chose Cazenovia College because of the family atmosphere. I immediately felt at home and like this is where I belonged."
Burrows visited campus three times before starting her journey as an Inclusive Elementary Education student. She always felt welcomed as a member of the College community. Reminiscing about her visits, Burrows shared that she spent a whole Saturday on campus for an Open House to learn everything she could about Cazenovia.
"I think one of the biggest things that stood out to me was the campus tour I received from another education student," shares Burrows. "I had one of those moments, seeing myself three years later in her footsteps, studying elementary education, being involved on campus, and becoming a leader."
As a freshman, Burrows was part of the Leadership Development Community, designed to provide first-year students with opportunities to explore and develop leadership styles and techniques. This opportunity led her to become a Resident Advisor and a leader on campus through various student clubs and organizations, including Alpha Phi Omega, Student Government Association, Alpha Chi, and Education Club.
It was through these opportunities that Burrows was able to develop skills—leadership, time management, and communication—that she applies in the classroom while student teaching.
A particular quality of Cazenovia College's education programs is that students start in the classroom during their freshman year, providing additional opportunities for hands-on learning. Burrows shares, "I started off in a daycare setting, with toddlers to fifth graders. Then I observed three different elementary classrooms, and was able to teach a lesson to the students. I also am working on my second semester of student teaching."
Burrows continues, "During my student-teaching placements, my host teachers have taught me so much, from how to manage behaviors to managing a classroom, as well as creating lesson plans to keep the children engaged, and overall how to a be professional in the workplace. It was a great hands-on learning experience for someday when I have my own classroom."
Asked when she knew what she wanted to do when she grew up, Burrows comments, "I have wanted to be a teacher since the fourth grade, because I had a student teacher who left such an impact on me. I never wanted to do anything else in my life."
"At the end of the day, there is no other place that I would rather be than in the classroom working with these children," says Burrows.
Burrows shares how prepared she feels after her experience observing second and third grade, and student teaching for two semesters in first and fifth grade. This experience has provided her with hands-on experience and prepared her to become a teacher.
"If I were to give advice to future Caz College students, I would say to take every opportunity available to you," shares Burrows. "Do not be afraid to talk to other people, because every other student has felt the same way you have, and the faculty and staff are willing to help."
Reflecting on her My Caz Experience, Burrows says that she was a different person when she stepped on campus for the first time. The opportunities that were available to her at Cazenovia College allowed her to make choices, and create the best college experience for herself.
Burrow continues, "They say high school is the best four years of your life, but I think college is the best four years. Make the most of this time!"