教育学院研究生, Current Preschool Teacher Fulfills Lifelong Goal to Earn College Degree

作者:Erik Pedersen,高级公关经理


BALTIMORE – 布伦达·里维拉 ’23 worked hard to emphasize the importance of earning a college degree to her three daughters. Rivera had been unable to attend in her younger years due to her family’s financial difficulties, and she wanted to give her children every opportunity to be successful.

Rivera got her wish, with all three of her daughters attending and graduating from college. 本月晚些时候,她将加入他们, fulfilling a lifelong dream by graduating from 马里兰大学圣母大学’s 教育学院.

An early childhood education major who is earning dual certification for elementary and early childhood education, 里维拉过去几年一直在圣. 塞维尔纳公园的约翰福音学校. Encouragement from a teacher led her to initially enter the education profession as a preschool assistant, and she recently became a teacher with her own preschool classroom during the coronavirus pandemic.


请告诉我们你高中毕业后的职业道路. 是什么让你在St. 约翰福音?

After high school, I first worked as an administrative assistant. 然后我成为了一名猎头——帮助人们投递简历, 给他们找工作, 把他们和他们的资质匹配起来,然后面试他们. 这是一次很棒的经历——我喜欢这样做.

我的女儿们开始上学后, 虽然, 我认识了他们的一位小学老师. 她最终降到了学前班的水平, and she told me that she had gone through several teaching assistants, 每个人都在一年后离开. She said, ‘I see how much you love children, would you come work for me?’

我从来没有考虑过那样的工作, 但我心里想, 我已经在学校做志愿者了, 我还不如和女儿们一起去呢. I’m grateful for that teacher – she saw something in me that I hadn’t previously seen in myself. I came to work with her, and education has been a part of my life ever since.


是什么激励你重返校园,进入大学, first at Anne Arundel Community College and then here at Notre Dame?

I had taken one psychology class previously at the community college. I formed a study group with some other 学生, and I was amazed at how easily they accepted me. 他们不在乎我老了,他们只是很接受. 这消除了我对融入社会的紧张感.

After that it was like, ‘Well, this is what I’ve wanted to do all along.’ I had hoped to attend after high school, but my family couldn’t afford it. 我的女儿们都长大了, they were starting to graduate from college and they were telling me it was my turn. 我一直想有个大学学位. All three of my daughters have college degrees – I always instilled that in them. 我不想让他们经历我所经历的, being passed over and not being looked at because you don’t have a college degree.

I started at Anne Arundel Community College, and while I was there I learned that they had a 巴黎圣母院的队列项目, which made it easy for me to transfer there to complete my degree. St的校长. 约翰福音 (Casey Buckstaff M’05) is also a Notre Dame alum, so I was able to learn a little about the school from her as well.



It was great – everyone in the 教育学院 has been awesome. 所有的老师——你们不仅仅是一个身份证号, you’re a student – and you can see how dedicated they are to seeing their 学生 excel. Every teacher made a great impact on me with how much love and effort they put into each one of the 学生 that come into the school, 这就是我想继续在这里攻读硕士学位的原因.

Did any faculty member make a particularly strong impact on you during your time here?

她可能不知道,但在我所有的老师中. 波查特对我的生活影响最大. 她真是太棒了. 她的课很有条理. 她在教学上付出的努力, 还有她对此有多放松, 我想成为这样的老师. I teach preschool, and the resources that she’s given me have helped so much in my classroom. To plan lessons for my 学生, to know how to introduce their letters and letter sounds, etc.

She’s one of the main reasons I want to come back and get my master’s. 她让我想起了我妈妈. 我妈妈只上过三年级, and when my father died she didn’t know how to write a check; she didn’t know how to read. 这对她来说真的很艰难,当我遇到. Beauchat, something clicked for me that this is what I want to study. 不是为我自己, but for helping 学生 not have to go through what my mom did with struggling to read. 不管你做什么,你都得读书. 为了前进,你必须知道如何阅读.

How will this degree help you, both professionally and in your daily life?

这个学位对我有帮助, 首先, to fulfill my dream of being a college graduate that I’ve had for all my life. 这也将帮助我成为一个更好的老师,我的学生, 不管我是留在学前班还是选择上小学. I can transfer all the knowledge that I’ve learned to use best practices for my 学生. 我认为这是我想做这件事的另一个主要原因, because it’s beneficial to them and I can make a difference in their lives. 每个人都这么说,但这是真的. You make a difference, and it doesn’t matter if they remember later on or not. 重要的是你做了些什么.


成立于1895年, 马里兰圣母大学(NDMU)是一所私立大学, 巴尔的摩的天主教机构, 马里兰, 我们的使命是培养改变世界的领导者. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. 新闻 & 世界报道.