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Anjali Suresh headshot

Anjali Suresh

Class of 2023

Major: Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Minor: Inclusive Early Childhood Education

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

High School: Deep Run High

Highlights: Expects to complete her Master of Arts in Teaching from JMU in 2024; undergraduate concentrations in mathematics, humanities and social sciences; JMU Student Ambassadors; helped with JMU College for Kids, a summer program connecting local elementary school students with the university; absolutely loved living on a hallway full of future teachers her freshman year

Anjali Suresh knows a good thing when she lives it.

She says her freshman-year Residential Learning Community experience while residing in Paul Jennings Hall was the best.

The bonds created living, learning and laughing as part of the Roop Learning Community will last a lifetime, she says.

Living in a Residential Learning Community was a good call?
It is one of my favorite decisions that I made because I knew going in that I was living with teachers. We all took classes together, we all had a general understanding of what we were going through.

Talk about some of the advantages.
So I could be talking about a lesson plan, which one of my other friends might not know, but my residence hall friends would know what a lesson plan is. And we can also bounce ideas off each other. And then because we took classes together, it was just good to always have someone to walk with or good person for notes, homework—whatever it might be.

"The Residential Learning Community life was a really good experience for me. A lot of us are still friends years later. I think that says a lot about the set-up."

Do you feel like you’re being well-prepared to teach?
One of my professors brings us a whole bunch of stories, classroom activities, puppets, things that she uses in her classroom, so that we can use it just to practice on each other—to make sure we know what we can do in our future classrooms to give us a lot of ideas.

That sounds like it’s pretty hands-on.
Yeah. And then either your sophomore or your junior year, you'll start your practicum. You go to a school and you're basically starting your student-teaching journey.

The practicum sounds like another wonderful experience.
My first one was a half-day practicum and now it's a full-day practicum. So I essentially spent my entire Thursdays at a preschool. And I'm always working with the children. I'm working with my cooperative teacher, and just making sure how to present a lesson inside a classroom. What are the kids doing? How are they reacting? And just being able to build those experiences before having my own classroom.

What are your plans this summer?
I'll be leading summer camps at a local Montessori school back at home and just being able to work with more children—getting another field of experience because I've worked with public school a lot. So now it's a good way to see what the Montessori school is like and see what I might prefer after graduation.

JMU's campus in the fall

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