Katie King: Softball Player & Future Teacher

This week’s Profile is on Katie King, a senior Early Childhood Education and Psychology major who does it all! She is co-president of TCNJ’s Club Softball team, a softball coach, president of Omicron Delta Kappa (the Leadership Honor Society,) as well as the co-VP of Retreats in Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM.) She is also aspiring to be a kindergarten or first grade teacher after graduating in May.

CCM is an important part of Katie’s life, and she describes one of her most memorable mission trips through Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity as one of the most fulfilling experiences of her life, “we helped finish and fix up houses for some very deserving people from dedicated community members to a Veteran. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I cannot wait to go back again this spring break.”

Another big part of Katie’s life is softball, which she started playing at the young age of 7. However, she wasn’t serious about playing until 5th grade, when she credits a really great coach to sparking her love for the sport and getting her involved with travel teams.

She then joined the club softball team her first semester of freshman year at TCNJ, and has had many great memories from her 4 years on the team: “My favorite club softball memories are from playing, traveling, and bonding with my teammates. One instance that sticks out was when we traveled to play in a tournament in Virginia. We played at a beautiful facility, on the side of a mountain, against colleges from around the country and even got to experience what it is like to play in the freezing cold and snow! Even though we did not get the results we wanted from the weekend, and our last game was snowed out, I loved bonding with my teammates and making memories. My mom also made the trip so it was great to share this experience with her as well.”

Katie has been president of the team for 2 years- (this year, she has a co-president, Eva Motto.) The club softball team does not have an appointed coach, so the co-presidents act as coaches as well as players. This means that Katie has many different responsibilities: “My co-president and I are in charge of scheduling games against other colleges in and out of our conference, making travel accommodations, arranging our practice schedule, running practices, determining the roster and lineups for each game, and attending meetings and being involved in the decisions of the SCAC (Sport Club Advisory Council).”

Even though it comes with many responsibilities, Katie says that being co-president is a very rewarding position, “There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on that I did not realize before I took the position, but when all of the planning and scheduling comes together and all of us are able to just play the sport we love it makes it all worth it.” She also says that the position helped prepare her for coaching, another passion of hers.

She coaches two travel softball teams in the summer of girls between 8 and 12 years old. Katie wants to continue her coaching career after graduation, and hopes to eventually form a travel team of her own or coach for a high school team.

 

While she loves to coach softball, Katie has always known that she wanted to be a teacher: “Ever since I was little, I wanted to become a teacher. When I was in kindergarten, I used to come home, set up a little classroom, and teach my little brother everything I learned in kindergarten.”

She credits her inspiration to become an Early Childhood Education major to her teachers, “I had some amazing teachers throughout the years who have really inspired me to become a teacher so I can make an impact on children’s lives like they made an impact on mine.” She is also a former Girl Scout, and says that mentoring younger students showed her how much she loved making connections and teaching new things. Katie praises her parents as her greatest teachers and role models, “they really encourage and support me to become the best teacher I can be.”

Katie also says that student teaching last semester made her love teaching even more, and convinced her that she was meant to be a teacher: “It was more than I ever expected it could be. I was in a kindergarten classroom with students whose love for learning inspired me. They really are role models for me as well because when you see their bright eyed, excited faces ready to learn every day it makes teaching not seem like a job. My experience definitely made me realize that an early childhood setting is the right place for me.”

She is very excited for the future and life after graduation, “I have dreamt of having my own classroom so I cannot wait to see what the future holds.” Good luck Katie!