A current senior at Carthage, elementary education major Caitlin Reynolds is focused on expanding her perspectives, experiences, and knowledge for later use within her own classroom. Through Carthage’s Education Department, Caitlin has received key hands-on experience and networking opportunities in the Kenosha Unified School District, catapulting her into the field.
Caitlin has also been very active in Carthage’s Dance Program. She has participated in numerous fall and spring shows that have also displayed her original choreography. Caitlin hopes to incorporate dance into her teaching career as a healthy form of self-expression for her students.
“I hope to be working in an elementary school, broadening the minds of my students and helping to create innovative and critical thinkers. I also hope to be a dance instructor on the side. I want to teach my dancers to have confidence in themselves and instill a passion for dance within them.”
“A few who have impacted me in my life at Carthage are Professor James Lochtefeld, my dance professor Stacy Pottinger, and adjunct professors Piper Morgan Hayes and Kristina Saldarelli. Professor Lochtefeld was my religion professor in Hinduism. He shared a lot of interesting things about the religion and pictures that he took on multiple trips to India. This made the class so much more interesting because he connected himself to what he was teaching, and that helped us understand it better. He also connected to the class by sharing his own stories, and he was always open to talk and discuss. He put a huge emphasis on the importance of family in the class while we were learning, which really helped me when I was going through a very tough family loss. He was very approachable and understanding of my situation and it really helped to be with my family in that time rather than worrying about school and homework. He really helped me see the value that all religions have and how they are all still connected by many similarities.”
“As for my dance professors, they have all really helped me grow as a dancer. They’ve really pushed me out of my comfort zone by introducing new styles and new ways of thinking about movement. The new methods have helped me choreograph two pieces for dance shows. Because of their classes, I have embraced my own dance style and I now explore any type of movement or concept I am interested in, regardless of my comfort zone.”
“I think my favorite class at Carthage so far would have to be my Choreography and Repertory class, which was required for my dance minor. It really improved my understanding of how to teach dance to others more clearly. It also provided me with information I could use within my own choreography. My professor slowly provided us with information and after, we would create little pieces to test the concepts on. The end of class final was a solo piece we had to create. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my piece and was very proud and confident of what I had finished at the end.”
“My toughest class so far at Carthage would have to be my Carthage Symposium class, which was Women in the Literary and Visual Arts. My two professors for the class gave us difficult readings and we had 10-minute writes at the end of each class to explain the concepts we had just learned. Over the course of the semester, I had a moment where it all kind of clicked and I was able to better understand what my professors were teaching. The class also changed the way I think about myself and other women. I learned what it really means to be feminist and about women throughout history. It was a very difficult, insightful, and thought-provoking class.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“I have had the opportunity to be a dancer in two faculty-led dance shows in the fall of 2014 and 2015. I choreographed a piece for the student-led dance show in the spring of 2016. In the fall of 2016, I was asked to add a solo that I choreographed to the faculty-led dance show.”
“I have also had the opportunity to be a part of the Lady Reds track and field team. My events are indoor weight throw, hammer throw, and javelin throw.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“One of my favorite moments at Carthage was when my dance professor asked if I would include a solo that I choreographed for one of my dance class finals in the faculty dance show. It was a huge accomplishment for me as a dancer, and choreographer, to be a part of a show that all of my dance professors work on.”
“Another favorite memory from Carthage that I will always cherish is the way my Fall 2016 professors all really helped me out. At the end of my fall semester last year, my family was going through a very difficult time when I lost someone very close to me. All my professors, both of my track coaches, and other behind-the-scenes people at Carthage helped to get me home a week early to spend time with my family. They worked with me to make sure I got all of my classwork and finals done. It is something that I will always deeply appreciate and be forever grateful for. It allowed me to be with my family when I needed to be.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“The biggest surprise to me so far is how much I’ve grown as a student, potential teacher, and just in general. I’ve learned so many lessons and received a lot of valuable advice. I’ve also come to be a little more adventurous. I have found more pieces of who I am, and who I would like to become. I’m glad I was able to do that at Carthage.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“I would never have thought I would be studying to be a teacher, but I’m glad at the way things have turned out.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Don’t give up on the profession because you think the students will be difficult. Your students are the most rewarding part of this major. You’re here to make a positive impact in a child’s life and their future.”