Meredyth Ohringer ’17, who is about halfway through a graduate program in early childhood education, remembers when her interest in teaching crystallized. It was during her semester in Hamilton’s New York City Program when she had an internship at The Keswell School for students with Autism spectrum disorder. Ohringer worked with middle-schoolers.
“And then they also let me observe the younger kids, and I think that’s when I was really excited about what early intervention could do for kids,” she recalls.
She went straight from Hamilton to three-year program at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, where she’s earning a master’s degree in early childhood education with credentials in special education and English as a second language. Her goal is to work in dyslexia education, maybe one-on-one with students in a classroom, as a reading consultant at a number of schools, or in some other way. She envisions multiple possibilities.
As an undergrad Ohringer minored in education studies and majored in sociology. In grad school she finds herself employing critical thinking skills she honed at Hamilton. For instance, for years people in education have espoused the value of parental involvement in their children’s education, she says.
“But in our graduate program we talk critically about what that actually entails, and when a parent isn’t able to do that, is it really because they are not willing? Or is it because of all the myriad of reasons why perhaps they are not able to — for socio-economic reasons like having multiple jobs, or cultural reasons, or all of these things? So I think Hamilton helped with that critical thinking and analyzing,” Ohringer says.