“My time at Stevenson has opened doors I never dared to even touch,” reflects Elementary Education major Justice Simpson.
As a sophomore, Justice has already started working in an elementary school classroom. “Once a week, I go to a local elementary school and assist the teacher. Even though this is my first time having a teaching role in a classroom, I still have an active part in it. Stevenson gives me the hands-on experience I need that tells me that I’m making the right decision and making a true impact in the classroom each time I go,” he says.
Justice’s favorite part of his major? Seeing the students’ smiling faces every week. “I learn as much from them as they do from me!” he remarks. Additionally, both in and out of the classroom, Justice is able to master all the traits of the best teachers: empathy, patience, kindness, equity, engagement, and more.
The selling point for Justice during his college search was the easy connections he made with the Stevenson community, the early-on experience in the Elementary Education program, and the sense of belonging on campus. “These are the things I felt I needed to help me adjust to being on my own for the first time and walking my own path,” Justice comments.
In addition to his undergraduate studies, Justice has taken advantage of Stevenson’s B.S. to M.S. program in Integrative Learning. “I plan to tie in my Master’s in Integrative Learning by allowing that opportunity to expand my learning,” he says. “Since Integrative Learning is making connections between ideas and experiences and applying them to a real-world context, learning about Integrative Learning beyond my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education would help me have all the knowledge I need to be the best teacher I can.”
As both a Leadership Scholar and a member of the Honors Program, Justice created further opportunities to step outside of his comfort zone and grow, including through the Baltimore Speaker Series. Through these regional and national speakers, he was able to hear from people of different backgrounds and gained wisdom about how they found success.
Ultimately, Justice’s time at Stevenson and his field placements helped him grow as a person. “Stevenson has given me the skills I need to make the world a better place. It has shown me how to create a diversity-centered, trauma-informed, equitable classroom environment; shown me how I can be inclusive and considerate of all student types; and has made me an advocate for social justice issues regarding the field of education,” he notes.