Educating the next generation

By Kaitlin Gillespie
Times-News correspondent


Liam Russell and Keri Jones pose for a photo. [Keri Jones / Special to the Times-News

   Editor’s note: Career Callings is a monthly column that appears in Teens & 20s, as space allows. It follows    twenty-something Alamance County residents and their career paths.

Education has been a hot topic for a long time now, so those with the calling to go into battle and fight for the  education of future generations deserve recognition.
Keri Jones, a 2013 graduate from Western Alamance High School, felt the calling to educate and taken up the  challenge. Early childhood education is the field of choice that Jones has chosen.
Following a mission trip to Uganda, Jones said, “I went on that trip and it changed my perspective  completely. After that I just knew I was meant to work with and be around children.”
After completing the education classes required by her job from Alamance Community College (ACC), she has  been working in a day care. These important years of development help shape the mind of a child and aid in  bringing out their budding personalities. One of the most difficult aspects of early childhood education, Jones  said, is “ developing an appropriate communication level. I work with young kids just learning to talk so it’s  difficult for them to understand and communicate back sometimes.”
   Another trying part of the job are the ever-changing rules and regulations. Keeping up with the newest suggestion on how to handle certain situations and abiding by every minuscule rule that has been put into action, are also some of the more daunting parts of the profession.
The difficulties, however, are worth it in the long run according to Jones.
“The most rewarding part is building relationships with the kids. There’s no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in a kid’s life.”
Communication on both a child and adult level, patience, and an ability to connect with the kids are some of the most important character traits someone interested in this profession should possess. Jones’ motto is “you have to be able to cut up, have fun, and make a fool of yourself in front of the children. They don’t care who’s watching so you shouldn’t, either.”

Kaitlin Gillespie is a senior at Western Carolina University and a Teens & 20s writer.

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