April 23, 2021

Addison Bonifield chose Shawnee State University because of its education program, affordability, and its proximity to home which allowed her to continue her work as a dance instructor.

Growing up in Waverly, Ohio, Bonifield knew she wanted to be a teacher from a very young age. Bonifield has two parents in education: her father is a high school math teacher, and her mother teaches seventh-grade English. Her experiences as a dance instructor and babysitter led her to the world of education.

“I’ve always loved children and I wanted to make a difference in their lives,” she said. “I love seeing them develop their skills and becoming better individuals.”

Bonifield has been babysitting for nine years, providing childcare and assisting with homework. Being a dance teacher for eight years, she has become proficient at creating lesson plans, communicating with students and parents, and building an inclusive learning environment.

“Through dance I learned how to foster positive relationships with every student,” she said. “I also learned how to prioritize my time and adjust to last minute changes.”

Through SSU’s Early Childhood Education program in the School of Education in SSU’s College of Professional Studies, graduating this spring, Bonifield has completed several class projects creating lesson plans and a mockup day care. She has even participated in an after-school reading program to help struggling readers.

“I have enjoyed my learning experiences from all of my core professors,” Bonifield said. “In five years, I hope to be happily working in a school district.”

Shawnee’s education program also provides the opportunity to student teach at several schools in the Scioto Valley School District. This real-life experience has helped her develop engaging lesson plans that cover common core state standards for multiple subjects. Through this teaching she has learned to create consistent classroom routines to accommodate an array of her students’ emotional and behavioral needs.

“I quickly learned how to drive my instruction through student observation and assessment,” Bonifield said. “This gave me the ability to specifically target the needs of my students.”

For anyone considering a successful career in this field, Bonifield suggests SSU’s Education degree.

“All of the professors in the School of Education make their assignments beneficial for your future as an educator,” Bonifield said.

While elementary education courses have the reputation of being easy, Shawnee’s program challenges students and helps prepare them for the future.