My name is Caroline Merryman and I am interested in going into the Elementary Education field. Interacting with children and being able to watch them grow not only as they get older but also to watch their personalities grow is eye opening, in my opinion. I have at the YMCA for 5 years now as a toddler teacher, daycare associate, and a summer camp counselor.  While working at the YMCA during the summer and on breaks, I have been a full time student at Longwood University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a minor in Children’s Literature.

While I sadly will not be graduating as a teacher, I plan to eventually get my Masters in teaching and have my own classroom. This was not my plan when I started at Longwood, but as long as I reach my end goal of being a teacher somehow, that’s all that matters. Teaching is a learning experience not only for the students but also for the teachers. Education plays a key role in todays world and I hope that never changes.

Data Analysis Project

For this project I decided to do research on a place in my hometown Kilmarnock VA. Kilmarnock is part of a very small community and with a lot of people that get their high school diploma. I thought it would be interesting to see the highest level of education within the population in the year 2000. The data that I found doesn’t surprise me when it comes to high school graduates (31%)  but I did find it interesting how many people didn’t graduate from high school (29%).

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I then wanted to compare it to todays censes and see if those numbers had decreased or increased. I found that in the year 2016 the numbers have decreased in a sense of high school diplomas but education overall is on an uprise. I say this because after conducting my research and comparing both of the information given in 2000 the highest level of education was a bachelors degree verses now the highest level that is being shown on the chart is a graduate or professional degree from a college. Overall the information found was interesting and I hope to continue to see the educational attainment level go beyond high school.

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Coursework Page

Although I just became a Children’s Literature minor last semester, I still find the classes that I have taken towards my minor are very interesting and something I could see myself using. I will be taking more classes towards this minor this semester such as: Intro to Literary Analysis and Literature for Young Adults. As I will be taking these courses I plan to try my hardest to really understand how to make the information given in the classes in my own classroom one day. While my major is in Liberal Studies, I find it important to not just “kind of” understand the material but to become and expert in knowing how to use the info successfully in an actual classroom. Working with children isn’t something you can “kind of” understand, you have to know what works and what doesn’t.


Relevant courses:

  • EDUC 245 – Human Growth and Development
  • MATH 309 – Numeration Systems
  • ENGL 382 – Grammar: Theory and Practice
  • THEA  448 – Integrated
  • ENGL 380 – Children’s Literature
  • BIO 114- Fundamentals of Life Sciences
  • ENG 150-  Writing and Research
  • THEA 433- Creative Drama Classroom

About Me

Hello! My name is Caroline Merryman, and I am currently a Liberal Studies major with a minor in Children’s Literature. I am a Teacher Assistant at my local YMCA Preschool  and it is definitely where I belong. I am an expert in this field of study because I have been doing it for 4 years now. I have taken many classes through work such as trainings, and gotten many certifications, mostly online. I have also taken CPR/First Aid trainings through the Y. Even without these trainings, I still learn what works and doesn’t work with certain situations with children. Working with children is my passion, I love being apart of their growing experience!

As a teacher assistant, you learn to not only work with children but other staff and parents. I questioned going to school for teaching just because I hate conflict and I didn’t want to have to be that teacher that had to tell a parent that their child wasn’t doing well in school or that they were acting up. But I quickly learned that it is important for parents to know what is going on in their child’s life so that they can also handle the situation at home, not just at school. Communication skills are very important in all jobs but especially as a teacher. You also learn how to be understanding, which is very important because without this skill, it could effect your teaching in a negative way.

Leadership is also a huge part of my job. Being able to lead a class in a lesson is an everyday thing. It will help make the facility run efficiently and to the best ability that it can. Leadership can also influence that staff and children to do things as the best of their abilities!

While I came to college to become an Elementary Teacher, my plans have changed but I will get there one day. I plan to graduate and work as an IA (Instructional Assistant) and then eventually get my masters. I wish I could’ve done this another way, but as long as a reach my goal, even if I have to go the long complicated way, that is all that matters!



Girls HAVE to like pink and boys HAVE to like blue…? NO!

Have you ever thought about how much children’s books like to stereotype children? I, as a Children’s Literature Minor at Longwood University, think this should be a bigger discussed issue than what it is today. If you look at pretty much any children’s book the girls are dressed in pink and want to be princesses while the boys are in blue and want to be a firefighter or policeman. I think society needs to step back and realize that not all girls like the color pink and not all boys like the color blue. DUH. I mean, is it right for us to just assume things about what children like just because of their gender? NOOOOO. I know I am guilty of this also butttttt we need to wake up and realize that children need to feel like they can like whatever they want to and not be judged by society. Why do we as adults feel the need to children that based on gender, they can’t like the same things? Who made a rule that girls can’t like trucks or dinosaurs? And who says that boys can’t like pink cupcakes or playing with baby dolls? It is important that we allow children to express themselves and books should be one thing that does this. Books should let a child’s mind explore new things without holding them back in any way and things like stereotyping, will do exactly this. Not only do some stereotypes in children’s books make children that don’t necessarily “fit into” these categories feel like an outsider but they can also lead to other children finding a reason to bully. This is beyond upsetting. It breaks my heart that any child would feel the need to “FIT IN” when being unique is soooooo much better. Even and agree with me on this. To find books that absolutely  gender stereotypes go to I know we are ALL guilty of stereoyping but maybe if we think about it more we would be more careful in what we write and say! Best wishes’ and wake up people.