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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

As I finish up Clinical Block 1 for my education major, I am reflecting on my experience and the implications it holds for my future. I had a wonderful semester. I spent two mornings a week in a Pre-K classroom, working with children I adored. I fulfilled all of the duties of a teacher’s aide or a teacher’s assistant. I learned a lot and gained great, relevant experience. Honestly, Clinical Block 1 felt like a full-time job. I have never been so busy in my life.

Clinical Blocks 1 and 2 are the education major equivalents of an internship. However, other majors will have the opportunity to seek out paid internships from companies that are looking to recruit college students with a fresh perspective. The harsh reality is, this is not the case in the world of education. In my college career, I will never enjoy a paid internship or a high-paying summer job. Why? That’s just the way it is. 

Every job I’ve ever had in the education field has been considered minimum wage or below. I have worked in afterschool care programs, substitute taught, worked at summer camps, you name it. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with kids. It is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It is genuinely what I believe I was born to do. However, the work I do is simply not valued in our society. In general, educational professionals are not respected or valued. Why? That’s just the way it is. 

The most frustrating thing to me in this whole concept is the lack of respect. In college, we respect people with more college education. We speak to them respectfully and expect them to teach us in return. People with more education traditionally get more respect. When we leave college, I too will get a master’s degree. I have five years from graduation to get that coveted sheet of paper, or my opportunities become severely limited. So I will get that master’s degree. And what will I get? Not much. Debt, a lack of respect, and a job with limited mobility and limited potential for raises. How did I get myself here? 

What I do know is that I will not leave. I like what I do. I am good at it. It is simply a choice I have made to prioritize a job I know I will love before money or respect. It is something I have made peace with. Maybe I will not be as respected as I might wish, and maybe I will not make a lot of money. But my job will be important. I will make children feel loved, valued, and appreciated. If my job makes any one child feel loved, it will be enough.

Allie is a new member of the Her Campus chapter at St. Bonaventure University. She plans to write pieces on topics such as pop culture, music, health, and more! Allie is currently a junior studying both Early Childhood and Childhood Inclusive Education and Music. On campus, Allie is involved in College Democrats, the Bonaventure Education Association, Empower, and SGA. Allie also enjoys volunteering at the Food Pantry and Bona Buddies. In her time away from academics, you can find Allie reading or taking a walk on the River Trail with her friends. Allie is also an avid music lover and can tell you a fun fact about any music from any culture and time frame.