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Tammy Flower, Teacher Education Major and Volunteer

“ Service Learning is a wonderful complement to your education, especially if you want to be a teacher.”

Tammy’s convictions about helping others are woven into every fiber of her being.  She loves children and understands that they need good teachers.  Her son was placed in special education when he was young and a dedicated teacher reached out to him and patiently brought him up to speed with kindness and attention.  She plans to repay the debt by becoming a special education elementary school teacher.  Even though the work is demanding and tiring, she explains, “I live to be in the classroom. You feel great at the end of the day.”

Tammy has done a great deal of volunteer work all of her life and thinks it is vitally important in building strong communitites.  At AACC, she was pleased to see it was an important component in many classes and personally she is a strong advocate for the benefits it provides to rounding out one’s formal classroom experience. 

“Classroom learning applied to a real situation gives you something that can never be taken away. Plus life-long volunteer work is so important in our community. It brings about an understanding of your community that you don’t get by staying in your comfort zone.”

AACC has an Office for Learning through Service that coordinates the appropriate volunteer activity with the material being taught in a particular class.  Students are frequently provided with an option for a service-learning project that fits in with their career objectives.  The office also provides an extensive listing of organizations that need volunteers that anyone in the community can access.  That’s exactly why Tammy is so enthusiastic about the office.  It doesn’t just stop with what is required in the classroom—it extends to the community so anyone can take advantage of opportunities to help their neighbors. Tammy is volunteering even though it’s no longer a requirement.

Tammy plans to transfer to Towson University this fall. She wishes that she could continue at AACC because she’s feels it’s so strong academically.  Her Fundamentals of Education class taught by Pat Gronkiewicz was in her words  “an amazingly good experience.”  It reinforced the reasons that she wants to become a teacher.

The shortage of teachers remains an increasingly greater challenge for our community, but it's good to know that dedicated individuals like Tammy are enthusiasically preparing to meet the challenge.