Fabiha Mahmud

Fabiha Mahmud plans on becoming a kindergarten teacher. When she isn't studying, Fabiha likes to hang out with her roommates, watch Netflix, and sleep.

Fabiha Mahmud’s volunteer work ignites interest in early childhood education

In high school, Fabiha Mahmud volunteered at her local elementary school, and it opened her eyes to the different avenues she could pursue within an education career.

After starting school at Des Moines Area Community College and trying different majors, Fabiha realized she most enjoyed the idea of teaching. She decided to transfer to Iowa State University, as it had always given her a sense of home and belonging.

Fabiha learned that she thrives when utilizing hands-on learning, so Iowa State’s Child Development Laboratory School was the perfect opportunity to facilitate her educational growth. The lab school is a resource for education students that offers year-round programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers while serving as an early childhood education model for students preparing to be early childhood teachers, administrators, and child and family specialists. She has also substituted for teaching assistants in West Des Moines elementary schools to add to her experience.

“I use what I learn from lab school every day,” Fabiha said. “[Early childhood education] is not an easy major. I’ve learned to be very, very patient because these kids will definitely test your patience, but it's worth it in the end.”

Volunteering gave Fabiha the opportunity to start working in the field before most people, helping her gain valuable experience and a full understanding of why early childhood education is the perfect fit for her. 

“I really like how I will be able to inspire kids and be a role model,” Fabiha said. “For some of those kids, the teacher is the first person they see in the morning. I know I will be very helpful for them in the future.”