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Alumni Profile - Chelsie Carswell

carswellChelsie Carswell says that even though parts of her job are really tough, getting hugs from the kids is pure joy. “It’s often because they’ve just accomplished something and they feel good about themselves.” 

Carswell, who graduated from Hillyer in 2004 and from the University of Hartford in 2006, teaches a class of bilingual students who are in a transition year, working on their English skills before they move on to a mainstream classroom. By encouraging, nurturing and supporting her students, Carswell has had significant success in bringing her students’ reading levels, which are often very low, closer to an acceptable aptitude level. 

“I try to create an atmosphere where my students will do well. I do little things, like playing classical music when they’re reading. I bought in a big rug to make the classroom cozier. I get the kids out of their seats to move, and stretch, and jump when they get droopy. And we celebrate class accomplishments with class parties.” 

Carswell loves teaching and would recommend it as a profession. But, she adds, “Anyone who’s thinking about teaching needs to know that it’s not a nine to five job. These kids – especially the ones from the cities – they need your attention one hundred percent of the time.”