Teaching Children Was Always Her Dream – Sharedia Brown Furthers Education in Early Childhood at OFTC
Sandersville, GA., (OFTC) –As a teenager, when Sharedia Brown dreamt of a future career she knew she wanted to spend her days helping children learn. So, when she started thinking about furthering her education after high school, she knew she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to make a difference in the lives of children.
“I’ve always wanted to work in early childhood care and education,” Brown said. “For me, it was just a matter of deciding when to start this journey.”
She knew about Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Program, but whenever she would think about starting classes, she’d get cold feet.
“I remember sitting on my couch one day trying to put the pieces together to the puzzle of my life and I didn’t know why I was holding back. So, right then I decided to start my journey,” she shared.
Brown enrolled in OFTC’s ECCE diploma program, confident the education she’d receive would open the doors of opportunity to pursue her dreams.
“The atmosphere at OFTC was so positive and everyone I met as I went through the enrollment process was so nice, sweet, and motivating,” Brown shared. “They were willing to help me in any way they could and that meant so much to me.”
The Beginnings of a Brighter Future
Furthering her education was more than just an opportunity to start a career, Brown said. “It held the key to my future, the beginning of my success, and opened so many doors for me.”
The hands-on curriculum challenged Brown, giving her opportunities to practice the things she’d be responsible for in the classroom. “I was able to gain useful information and hands-on experience that helped me with classroom management and work ethics,” she added.
“We also covered topics on different ways to help children cope with learning and the importance of literacy.”
While the content covered in class was interesting and applicable for Brown, the atmosphere encompassing the entire OFTC community is what really stood out. “OFTC is such a welcoming place,” she said. “To me, dealing with people who look forward to assisting you in getting the help that you need makes you feel like you’ve made the perfect choice in choosing this college.”
Brown graduated with her diploma in September while working at Ridge Road Primary School in Sandersville as a paraprofessional in the childcare lab.
But her dream went further than an early childhood diploma; Brown went back to OFTC to further her education toward and associate degree so that she can one day accomplish her goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in early childhood.
“My education from OFTC has allowed me to gain so much knowledge that I’ve been able to use to pour into the children I work with every day,” Brown said. “We cover things in the program that I take back to my teacher and we’re able to introduce the concepts and ideas to our class,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to see how the information translates into the actual classroom.”
And because she loves what she does, Brown looks for ways to inspire the students in her class and make learning fun.
“No matter what the subject, I am always looking for multiple ways to make learning fun for my students so they’re able to grasp and remember the information,” Brown said. “I love seeing them grow in all areas of learning and understanding.”
Brown is excited about her future as an early childhood educator and is thankful she decided to pursue her dreams by furthering her education at OFTC.
“Not only have I learned a lot, but I’ve had the best time doing it,” she added. “If you’re nervous or unsure about going to college, take that leap of faith and do it. You’ll gain the tools you need to change your life and by the end, you’ll be so happy you did.”
OFTC is a Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.