Accomplishment: Jamaica Practicum: working with underprivileged children
Major: Elementary Education
Caitlyn Barbour ’14 is far from inexperienced.
Coming from a big family and an even larger church family, her feeling of community is well-established. With a strong support system from family, friends, Community of Christ and Graceland University, Caitlyn has been encouraged to grow and develop, and there’s no sign of her stopping anytime soon.
This Winter Term Caitlyn had the opportunity of experiencing a brand new community within the Jamaican culture. Using the term as her teaching practicum, Caitlyn traveled to Jamaica for over a week, staying submerged in the culture and devoting much of her time there to the students.
Caitlyn’s passion for education, specifically early childhood development, shined through her lesson plans. She taught a number of three to six-year olds the difference of textures through art, plants, and hands-on activities. It was there in the Infant School that Caitlyn took away a much bigger lesson herself, “Be grateful for what you have.”
"Children in Jamaica are not required by law to attend school. They wore uniforms, they had order, routine and devotions, but the students attended because they wanted to."
“The Jamaican community is so different from the world here,” says Caitlyn. “There is no ‘mine’ there, only ‘ours.’” That sense of community is what left an indelible mark on Caitlyn’s heart.
Although Caitlyn’s personal love for travel helped her prepare for the trip, she’s the first to admit that Graceland has paved the way. Through her involvement on campus, Caitlyn has been exposed to many cultures of the world. “Playing on the soccer team, participating in theatre and just being part of the community here, I came into contact with so many international students more than willing to share their culture,” admits Caitlyn.
Caitlyn doesn’t envision this trip to be her last, and it is certainly just the beginning of her work with children she plans to do for many years to come. Following graduation, Caitlyn will pursue her dreams of teaching and continue her focus on Early Childhood Development.