Like many first-year students, Sarah Paradisio ’25 was unsure of her major when she arrived at Keuka College.
And like many students, Sarah now has a clear view of her career direction after completing her first Field Period® internship.
For her 2021-22 Field Period placement, Sarah chose to shadow several teachers at Canajoharie High School. The experience not only helped her declare a major – Adolescent Education with a concentration in Social Studies and Special Education – it earned her the College’s 2021-22 Field Period® and First-year Experiential Learner of the Year Award.
“Not only did Field Period cement my decision to become a teacher, but I realized I never wanted to stop learning,” said Sarah, a resident of Fort Plain, N.Y. “So, I decided my career would have to involve constant learning and interaction. The world is in desperate need of good teachers and I am confident I can be a part of this change. In the end, I wanted to help make education a better place for the next generation.”
Sarah shadowed eight teachers during her Field Period. Three of the classes she observed were co-taught, allowing her to work within both the school’s General Education and Special Education areas.
“The teachers I worked with during this experience are the definition of what a good teacher is,” said Sarah, who is also minoring in English. “From what I have observed, every good teacher needs to work with their students both individually and as a group. They prompt students to participate in discussions and teach them to be confident in their answers.”
Throughout her time at the school, Sarah discovered that the more creative and relatable the lessons, the more students engage with the material. She plans to incorporate what she has learned into her own classroom.
“This Field Period® was everything I was hoping for and more,” said Sarah. “I have learned what is expected of teachers and how they rise to meet those expectations. I now have a better idea of the education system and look forward to being a positive change. I have chosen to become a teacher so I can help educate leaders of the future. It makes me happy that I can see myself in this career, and I don’t think anything will stop me.”
The Field Period® and First-year Experiential Learner of the Year Award is given annually to two students—one first-year, one upper-class. The College established the award in recognition of its longstanding emphasis on experiential learning, and to celebrate the individual achievements of its students.