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BS in English with Teacher Certification in Childhood Inclusive Education
“Someone once told me that kids from strong families make teaching easy, and kids from broken homes make teaching important.”
Setting a career goal in second grade may seem a little unusual, but for Alinda Pridmore it was a goal worth working toward. It was Alinda’s second grade school teacher, Mrs. Daggs, who inspired her to be an elementary school teacher. What Alinda didn’t know at the time was the multitude of experiences she would engage in along the way that would help her pursue her dream.
One thing that distinguishes Alinda from most students is her aspiration to teach children with disabilities. “Every day in a special education classroom is different. My professors at The College at Brockport have taught me how to be effective ― even with the most challenging students.”
As a student teacher, she has worked with students having a variety of different disabilities including Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ― all with very special and sometimes conflicting needs. Moira Fallon, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Education and Human Development, helped Alinda overcome the challenges of a special education classroom. Dr. Fallon taught Alinda about inclusion, a teaching technique that integrates children with disabilities into general classrooms. “It intrigues and amazes me to see the students change over time, coping and being productive with their disabilities, and how excited they get when they succeed.”
While The College at Brockport’s faculty have helped guide Alinda, friends from Brockport have also made a significant impact on her life. “If it weren’t for my friend Chris, I would not be skiing right now.” Skiing has been a life-changing event for Alinda as she went from beginner on the slopes to president of the Ski Club. More importantly, it has helped develop her leadership abilities essential for a special education class.
Professors around the College also have invested in Alinda’s future. “The professors (at Brockport) bring new ideas to the table. If students are willing to try and listen, they can learn a variety of new things from these teachers.” Her openness to these new techniques has kept Alinda striving to learn more.
Skiing may be a favorite for this Naples native off campus, but back on campus Alinda has found opportunities as well. Working in the Office of Alumni Relations has helped her network with Brockport alumni, propelling her closer to achieving her vision of being an elementary school teacher. “The alumni I’ve met provided me with numerous opportunities within the school system that I would not have had if I had not worked in the Office of Alumni Relations.”
Maybe trying new things such as skiing and networking is a natural attribute of Alinda, because her future travels suggest she also is an adventurer. She plans to fly to Hawaii to visit the historic Pearl Harbor and expects to climb one of the state’s volcanoes.
At Brockport, Alinda has developed leadership skills, networked with alumni and has gained the tools she needs to accomplish her dreams.
“I want to have a major impact on the upcoming generation of children and do something amazing to change the school system for the better. I want to help all children succeed in life.”