Liam Evans '22 is grateful for courses like Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling Theory, among others. The psychology major has taken the information and strategies he's learned in the classroom directly into a different, and in some ways, even more important classroom.
Liam is interning in kindergarten through second grade classrooms at Stevens Elementary School in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District. Specifically, Liam works in the special education program, often assigned a different student with different needs each day.
"I have a passion for working with students with disabilities who need an individualized education. It takes a lot of patience and a different skill set than what's required of a general education teacher. This is what I was meant to do."
Liam works one-on-one with students, sometimes teaching them math or reading skills, or sometimes just being at their side for support. The school principal has taken notice, and they often talk about it over family dinners...
Dr. Richard Evan is the principal at Stevens which makes him Liam's supervisor's boss. He's also Liam's dad. In fact, both of Liam's parents are educators. It's no wonder Liam was drawn to the classroom, but now working in his dad's school has given him a fresh perspective of both the vocation and his dad.
"I think he's great at what he does, and just seeing the way he interacts with his staff and the students, it's really inspiring. After work, we talk about our days and the fun interactions we had with students, and sometimes the different jokes the students tell us."
The psychology major has been taught to inject as much genuine positivity as possible into the lives of his students. At Stevens, he's had the opportunity to put his education into practice, while impacting students. There's a first grader with Down Syndrome who is unable to communicate verbally. Liam uses a lot of smiles and happy gestures to reinforce her behavior and show his support. And when she smiles back, Liam knows he's in the right field.
"Working in an elementary school has been a really unique and positive experience. Providing students, both in general education and special education, with the best education possible is one of the most important things you can do for them. Going home knowing you impacted a student in a positive way feels so significant and fulfilling."
Liam Evans '22