Brooke Harbaugh plans to work as a second or third grade teacher after graduating. When she isn't studying, Brooke likes to travel, do arts and crafts, and hang out with family and friends.
Brooke Harbaugh discovers confidence, community through elementary education studies
All of Brooke Harbaugh's previous jobs have revolved around interacting with children. Studying elementary education and interning at a local preschool are propelling her toward her future as a teacher.
“I’ve always loved working with kids," Brooke said. “I also have a bunch of teachers in my family whose stories of their work with children inspired me from a young age to be a teacher.”
Coming to Iowa State University after attending a small high school, Brooke was nervous about adjusting to a university with a large student population of students. To her relief, she quickly adapted and found great friends within her major of early childhood education.
“Find your own community of people. I was able to find mine through the education program,” Brooke said. ”I’ve learned how to become more independent, outgoing, and confident in myself.”
Brooke has flourished in the elementary education major at Iowa State and overseas. She studied abroad during the summer of 2019 in Rome, Italy. While there, Brooke compared the Rome International School to the schools here in America, finding the two to have quite different formats of teaching. It was through this experience, Brooke was able to make life-long memories.
“My favorite part of the experience was making lasting friendships and memories, all while further educating myself on different teaching methods and soaking in the beauty of Italy,” Brooke said.
Now back in Ames, Brooke is interning with the Ames Community Preschool Center as an assistant teacher. She is gaining a plethora of real-life work experience and applying what she’s learned from her classes.
“My classes have shown me how big of a role teachers play in students’ lives, and how to take advantage of that role in a positive way,” Brooke said. “Teachers really become a role model for their students and provide the light in some student’s lives that they might not have elsewhere.”