Demi Herman ‘14, ‘16

Demi HermanChild Study Major

"I have always wanted to become a teacher. I went to a Sister of Saint Joseph's high school that had ties to the College and I knew it was meant to be for me to come here. I looked into several schools but I had already made my decision.

"St. Joseph's College was the only school that gave the four certifications that would allow me to teach birth through sixth grade, both general and special education. The coursework was rigorous, and I felt I was a teacher by my senior year. St. Joseph's has a very hands-on approach for preparing teachers, which is needed in the ever-changing field of education.

"After graduation from St. Joseph's Graduate program I see myself as a stronger teacher. St. Joseph's has given me the confidence to explore leadership positions in my school I am currently teaching. In a few years, I wish to pursue an Ed.D. in Education and possibly look into becoming a professor.

"St. Joseph's College was the only school that gave the four certifications that would allow me to teach birth through sixth grade, both general and special education. The coursework was rigorous, and I felt I was a teacher by my senior year."

"Growing up, I had a sixth grade teacher that was a role model for me. She was an amazing teacher and, when she found out I wanted to become a teacher, she told me to go to 'St. Joe's.' Her lessons were very hands-on and I discovered a passion for learning about history.

"When studying at St. Joseph's, the more I learned each year, the more I yearned to be in the classroom. The professors would talk about their experiences in the classroom and I could not wait to share my stories of my own classroom! My professors had a passion for teaching and, one day in the future, I want to be able to share my passion as a professor to college students."

Favorite book? Quote?

"I love the book The Great Gatsby, which I read in high school. However, being a teacher, my favorite book to read to my class on the last day of school is Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. It is very inspirational.

"My favorite quote is 'You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!'

"My co-teacher last year read it to the class my first year of teaching and at the end told me it was also dedicated to me because we were being split up to different classes."

Who has been the biggest influence on your life?

"The biggest influence in my life is Susan. She has given me the confidence that has allowed me to succeed today. She has a vast knowledge of the field of special education, from experience as a parent and a teacher, and it's great to see both sides of conflicts."

Have you been a part of any service activities that were meaningful to you?

"I participated in many service activities. I went on a trip to an organic farm to help the Sisters of Mercy in Vermont tending their garden, which they use as a food source. It was nice to help them and was a cultural experience that I never had since I grew up in the suburbs. I completed several service projects in Kappa Delta Pi — the Child Study Honor Society. In the year of Hurricane Sandy, we made book and pajama sets to give to the students in a school who lost their belongings. We also threw a Halloween party for the local children in the area. When in the School Leadership Experience, I helped make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless in the area, and made one of my first meals for a local shelter. I also did a service project in my Psychology Group Dynamics class that was for abused women and children in a safe house. We collected household items and decorated them in baskets to welcome the new women in the shelter."

If you had to give one reason for a student to choose St. Joseph’s College, what would it be?

"In this school, you are given multiple opportunities to discover who you are as a person, both inside and outside your field of study."

Who is your favorite SJC professor?

"If I had to choose, it would be Professor Friedman. I enjoyed how he did not teach from a textbook and had a very similar philosophy of education as myself. He believed learning was hands-on, and had us completing the hands on activities ourselves to show the meaning of using inquiries to guide learning. I have used the most resources from his classes and the students begged me for more of his lessons. He also taught me the value of using reliable and valid studies to guide my instruction."

What do you do in your spare time?

"I enjoy exercising and water sports. I dance and I am now a dance teacher for an after school program at my job. In my spare time, I enjoy reading leisure books (sometimes young adult series so I could discuss books with my students that they themselves are reading) and traveling to new places."

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

"The biggest challenge I overcame was the new teaching requirements that rolled out once it was time for me to become a teacher. I was very nervous, however, Susan and the Child Study staff committed 110% to make sure we would all have the tools we needed, from partners for the edTPA to workshops outlining what we needed to know for the new testing. It was very helpful to know the staff was doing anything and everything they could so their students will succeed, which is very important to me."

What is the best advice someone has ever given you?

"The professors encouraged me to speak up more and network with people. The statistics of getting a job in a PowerPoint the Child Study faculty presented said that 90% of jobs were from knowing someone. Once I saw that, I made sure to make my presence known."

What have you learned about yourself during your time at SJC?

"Through the multiple leadership roles available, I have learned that I am a strong leader, which is a great skill to have as a teacher. It has also taught me to try different things because you never know what you may be missing out on."