Leanna Lara

Leanna LaraEarly Childhood Education | Graduated May 2021 

Transferred to: New Mexico Highlands University

Major: Elementary Education 

Why did you choose to go to San Juan College?

"I chose to go to San Juan College because it was close to home and affordable. I needed classes that would work with my work schedule and busy life. SJC offered online classes, gave me the support I needed to pass my classes and earn my AA in Early Childhood Education."
What did you do or are you doing to prepare for your career? 

"Working as preschool teacher helped me finish my degree. I learned how to create lesson plans, portfolios, and better practiced how to make learning fun and inspiring. I took classes after work and completed assignments on weekends or in my free time and often, I could take classes online.  Currently, I am working towards obtaining my BA in Elementary Education. I work for a local district as an EA in an elementary school. This is helping me understand and learn about different teaching strategies and how to manage a classroom. I had opportunities to co-teach and they helped me learn how to approach different areas of need for each student. In addition, teachers from a variety of grade levels have shared great advice with me."
What advice would you give to future graduates?

"Don't give up. I had changed my major many times. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I felt so lost and because of that, I failed many classes and stopped attending school for a while. One day when I was working, I found out I was good with working with children. I fell in love with teaching and decided to get my AA in Early Childhood Education. I am now striving to become a licensed teacher. We don't know what we want to be when we grow up. No one does. It takes trial and error to figure out what we want our career to be. Failing is part of the learning process, it takes time. Do what makes you happy, not what someone wants you to do. This is your life, take advantage of it and leave your imprint on this Earth."
What was your fondest memory at San Juan College?

"My fondest memory at SJC was taking a class by Mr. Idzerda. His class was so fun, I learned how to engage children in science, reading, and more. We always did projects in his class and he would lend me his equipment to use in my preschool class. My students had the best time from these projects and they learned so much from them. I was always excited to see what we would learn next in his classroom. I strive to be an educator like him who engaged his students constantly and made the experience memorable."