Education Major Excited to Start Her
Stephanie Zirbes ’13Ed always wanted to be a
teacher, and has felt at home in the classroom since she was a
student in kindergarten. “There is something about helping a child
learn something they never knew before that is so rewarding,” she
A junior pursuing a dual degree in
Childhood and Special Education, Stephanie attended a St.
John’s Open House with her sister, who was considering St. John’s.
She found herself inspired by the words of several
Dean’s Scholars (which she would later join) during a
presentation for The School of
Education. She investigated St. John’s for herself and realized
its Education program was the perfect fit.
Since she was a freshman, Stephanie has had many opportunities to
interact with students in a real classroom setting, experience she
feels is invaluable and sets The School of Education apart from
other programs. “During each visit I have learned something new and
had a meaningful interaction with a child. I can't wait to have my
Preparation and Inspiration
“I feel well prepared,” she asserted. “Having the chance to
interact with students in a classroom setting since my first
semester has allowed me to see classroom theories applied in
reality.” Stephanie added that she has had many opportunities
to present her own lessons to classmates, giving her a taste of
what she will experience in the classroom.
Stephanie has been particularly inspired by
Professors Mark and Helen Levy, teachers of several
undergraduate courses in The School of Education. “They taught me
more about the profession than any other course I have taken.
Thanks to them, I learned how to interact with students in a way
that engages them, and actually makes math and science – two
difficult subjects for most students – fun and accessible. I see
myself applying these ideas towards other subjects in the future,
such as reading and writing.”
In addition to the Dean’s Scholars, Stephanie is a member of Kappa Delta Pi,
an international Education honor society. She stressed that
membership in these organizations has built her professionalism and
confidence, bringing her leadership qualities to the forefront.
They also keep her in the loop regarding critical new trends in her
“I have never been so busy in my life, but I have learned how to
balance these different responsibilities, which will be a great
help to me when I begin my career as a teacher, one which requires
many different hats.”
Stephanie intends to work with special education students, an idea
that dovetails with St. John’s University’s Vincentian Mission.
“Being able to help a child learn and grow in life is the best
feeling in the world.”