Why I want to educate

First things first, my name is Nicholas Maodush-Pitzer, but most people know me as Nick, or M-P, or you could even go so far as to call me Mr. Maodush-Pitzer (a mouthful, I know, and something that for the next 30 to 40 years will be tripping a lot of people up time and again).

Currently I am in my senior year at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, but I have taken to calling this my fourth year, since I am on what they call the “Five-Year Track”; that is, I love college so much that I won’t mind spending a fifth year walking around my perfect little campus. Next year will not be spent at Grand Valley, though, for the most part. In the fall I will be in the minor leagues of teaching (Class A ball, if you will, like my hometown West Michigan Whitecaps) Teacher Assisting in an elementary school classroom, and following that, in the Winter semester, I will be in the upper minor leagues (the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens) of teaching as a Student Teacher, preparing for my call-up to the big leagues as a real-life, big time teacher.

Education was not the first profession I was driven towards when first coming to Grand Valley. In fact, I was not sure what profession I was driven towards, and that little fact had me worried a bit. Initially, I was a Natural Resource Management major, having developed an interest in environmental issues while in high school. The classes I took freshman year were fascinating, but I felt like I never really knew what I wanted to do in the NRM field. After the school year, I was a counselor on a backpacking trip in the Nordhouse Dunes of Ludington, MI, for the sixth graders at Blandford Environmental Education Program, of which I am a proud alum. The week-long experience of being with those students and being looked up to as a role model (largely because the young ones realized I was one of the people in charge of their safety while camping) while feeling like an integral part of their educational experience served to open my eyes towards the possibility of one day being able to have a classroom and students of my own. Up until that point I had tried to avoid feeling inclined towards being an educator, since it runs in the family (Dad – social worker, Mom – college professor, Oldest Brother – high school Spanish teacher). However, I came to the conclusion that perhaps the ability to relate to younger human beings and lead them in a school setting did in fact run in my blood, and I should, in fact, take advantage of that skill. That following fall, I changed my major to Elementary Education and Mathematics.

That change ended up being one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life. In the past two-and-a-half years I have experienced some top-notch education from one of the greatest faculties in the country. The fun I have had in the Education program classes at Grand Valley has been unforgettable, and has given me a hopeful outlook on the opportunity to have my own classroom one day. I look forward to sharing with everyone on here the progression of my educational career from here on out, and I am hopeful that it will be great!

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