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Student Spotlights

'I really want to uplift and encourage all of my students'

Apr. 25, 2013

Diamond Malone remembers the exact moment she decided teaching is the thing she wanted to do. She was a high school student volunteering to help elementary school students struggling with math.

“There was this one little girl. She was in third grade, and I helped her. She was having a hard time multiplying. I explained it to her in a simplified way. So it just clicked. And watching her learn that was just amazing,” said Diamond a junior studying elementary education at IU's School of Education.

Diamond Malone

| Photo By Linda Hanek, IU School of Education

With a major in education already decided on, Diamond started her search for the right college. “I went to a small elementary school, middle school, and high school, so even though I knew the School of Education offered a great program, I was nervous about a big school. My mom told me ‘just go visit.’ I did and I loved it.

“You get to grow as a person by figuring out different things that you like to do and just meeting new people that are different from what you’re used to,” she said.

In addition to her academics, Diamond participates in a number of student leadership activities on campus. She’s an assistant director for the Indiana Memorial Union Board, a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society, a member of Multicultural Outreach Recruitment Educators (MORE), and vice president of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Student Group. In 2011, she was also an Orientation Leader. “As an Orientation Leader for new IU students, I learned so much and met so many people. And I got to work on my public speaking skills,” she says. “I want to grow more as a leader because obviously as a teacher, you’re a leader. At IU, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do that.”

All these experiences are helping shape Diamond into the type of teacher she wants to be.

“I know there are a lot of students out there that are struggling with certain subjects and are kind of scared because they have other students in their class that might be a little bit smarter than them, and I really want to uplift and encourage all of my students. And I want it to be an open classroom to where no one feels like they’re going to be picked on or ridiculed for anything they do.”

“I like the idea having to problem solve with each of the different students I might have in my class in the future. To prepare to teach, you have to think about the different types of classrooms you will have. You might have a classroom with students who don’t speak English, or who have little to no reading experience, or there may be one student who just doesn’t understand something.”

As a teacher, Diamond wants to be able to customize her teaching for each student, and to take the time to make sure they feel encouragement.

“I know there are a lot of students out there that are struggling with certain subjects and are kind of scared because they have other students in their class that might be a little bit smarter than them, and I really want to uplift and encourage all of my students. And I want it to be an open classroom to where no one feels like they’re going to be picked on or ridiculed for anything they do.”

Diamond says her professors in the School of Education have been a source of encouragement for her, and she feels well prepared for the challenges she’ll face as a teacher. She’s especially enjoyed learning about child psychology and being in classes with other students who are passionate about teaching too.

Through her field experiences at Templeton Elementary School, Diamond has gotten opportunities to teach elementary students, and when asked what will make her a good teacher, she answered, “I try to relate to each student. I get to know people on a personal level so I don’t want to think of them as just my students. I’m also really creative as well, so I don’t want my classroom to feel like ‘we’re going learn this by the book and that’s all were going to do.’ I want them to have fun learning.”

While she’s eager to start teaching, she’s really enjoying her own education right now.

“I love the School of Education. It’s a tight-knit community, and I think anyone could benefit from studying here. Everyone here is ready to help you. Mr. Ghangis Carter, the director of the Office of Recruitment and Retention for Underrepresented Students, reached out to me and let me know that he is here if I needed any assistance at the School of Education or IU.”

It’s likely Diamond will be able to solve any problems that come her way, but she’s says it’s nice to know help is available if she needs it.

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