Carley poses with her diploma at graduation in December
Carley Grab is a recent Millersville graduate. A member of the class of Fall 2013, Carley managed to get her degree in education in just 3 1/2 years, which is no easy feat. Carley explained that she has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember, so that lifelong dream was one of the things that really drove her to excel. Millersville’s great reputation for its teaching programs and the proximity to home, made the university and easy choice. She is one of the first graduates of Millersville’s relatively new Middle-Level Education program, it only started her freshman year. “I chose middle-level because I liked that it was a new major,” explains Carley “Plus the 4th to 8th grade range sounded great because at that age students still think I’m kind of cool and they still think school is kind of cool as well. They’re at a turning point in their life and I wanted to be a part of that.”
During her time as a student, Carley was actively involved on campus. To satisfy her personal interests, Carley was a member of ACMO (All Campus Music Organization), and loved participating in their annual showcase; she also participated in intramural soccer and field hockey having been a long-time player since high school. She was even an RA for a year, which she says helped her become more organized and develop as a middle-level teacher. In addition to activities purely for personal interest, she was also the president of CMLA of Millersville (Collegiate Middle-Level Association)! Carley spoke about her involvement with this relatively new club, “All of my other activities were personal interests that didn’t have much to do with school, but with CMLA I got to pursue my professional as well as my personal interests. It was a lot of work, but I liked that balance.”
Carley (left) performing in the 2013 ACMO showcase
Through Millersville, Carley also got to have some incredible experiences. Just last semester she got the opportunity to student teach abroad in England! Talk about fabulous. During her stay, Carley resided with an amazing host family while student teaching 5th grade reading at an all-girls school. However, her stay wasn’t just all work, she also got to do a considerable amount of travel while abroad: the Eiffel Tower, Dublin, Stonehenge, and the White Cliffs of Dover which she cites as her favorite destination. “I was usually on my own during my travels, but it made me realize I can do so much!” boasts Grab, “All of these places were things I’d only ever seen in movies or posted on my Pinterest boards.” Carley elaborated saying that the experience made her appreciate the idea of seeing the world more and that she hopes to go back and share it with her loved ones someday soon.
Carley stated that going into the program, she didn’t even know which country to pick because up to that point she had never travelled, or even been on a plane. She found the idea of student teaching abroad to be an amazing opportunity that everyone should jump at the chance to do. “I think it’s incredible that you can do that in the first place, and sadly I don’t think a lot of people even realize it’s an option,” Carley continued.
Since graduating in December, Carley started working for a substitute teaching service doing day-to-day substititing until recently acquiring a long-term substitute teaching position at Donegal Intermediate School where she did her first stint of student teaching in the early fall. She says that she would love to continue working as a 5th grade teacher at a Lancaster County school and doesn’t mind one bit that teaching reading has essentially become her life, “though I do miss college and not having Friday classes!” jokes Carley.
Carley during her visit to the White Cliffs of Dover
Random Facts about Carley:
What was your favorite thing to do on campus?
Karaoke at House of Pizza on Thursday, it’s so much fun! I still try to make it down for a visit now and then.
What have you missed most about Millersville?
I miss learning all kinds of new teaching things every day. I liked the feedback from other students–we taught each other a lot. Now that I have my own class it would be nice to have those people to play some ideas off of.
What is something someone would be surprised to know about you?
My dad is one of nineteen children. Not really about me I guess, but I have the biggest family of anyone I know and everyone always finds that interesting.
Do you have any advice for upcoming graduates?
As soon as you get over finals and everything, get all of your stuff together as soon as you can. The earlier you get it over with the better–letters of recommendation, transcripts, whatever it might be– do it before you leave. It’s boring practical advice, but it’s true.