Master of Science in Elementary Education
Teacher and Technology Coordinator
Jenifer Gossman earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern Indiana in 1994, but it wasn’t long after that she decided to continue her education in, well, education. After gaining some experience as a substitute teacher, Gossman found that she preferred the classroom over a business environment and went back to USI to earn a Master of Science in Elementary Education with a focus on technology education. Graduating in 2011, Gossman is now a teacher and technology coordinator at a private elementary school. Not only does she teach students in 6th through 8th grade about technology, but she provides the faculty with professional development regarding the integration of technology into curriculum.
Why did you choose to major in elementary education?
I originally received a degree in business administration. When my oldest child started school, I began subbing at her school. Seeing the excitement in children’s lives when they finally “get it” on a concept inspired me to become a teacher.
What did you like/dislike about majoring in elementary education?
I am fortunate to be able to compare two different schools of learning: business and education. Likes ñ it is fun! Finding new ways to share my knowledge with young people is fun! Dislikes ñ in college, I strongly disliked using the university’s lesson plan template!
How has your major impacted your career or influenced your career path?
My original goal in life was to do big things with technology. However, becoming a mother changed the direction of my life. I went back to school to become a teacher and have since completed my master’s degree in education. I am so lucky to be able to teach what I have always had a passion for ñtechnology. So, my first degree has had as much of an impact as my second one in education. My business skills have helped me advance my personal learning network and reach a larger audience to inspire technology education, while my education studies have given me insight on how to effectively run a classroom and stay at a level the students can understand.
What knowledge/skills did you obtain from majoring in elementary education that you still put to use in your current position?
Classroom management. However, this changes with each group of students. Learning many varieties of classroom management have helped me be more flexible.
What advice would you give to students thinking about majoring in elementary education?
1.) You have to love to learn. 2.) You must be flexible. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to change my lesson plans at the last minute. 3.) Be compassionate. 4.) Be ready to work many, many hours. 5.) When you leave the classroom at the end of the day, put your school hat on a hanger and don’t put it back on until you return to your classroom. You have to keep a balance between work and home.