Today we meet Joseph Bittmann, a senior secondary education and history double major from Washington Township, Gloucester County. Joe talks about his #PROFspective on his final year at Rowan and how he’s successfully balancing being a club president, honor student, and Rowan Prof!
Name: Joseph Bittmann
Major: Dual major in Secondary Education and History within the College of Education and the College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Minor/concentrations: TOSD Endorsement (Teacher of Students with Disabilities), German minor
Transfer Student: Yes, I transferred from Rowan College at Gloucester County
Hometown and County: Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County)
Commuter: I commute from home.
Academic clubs: President of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society for Education.
Do you have an off-campus job? Yes, I currently work for Source4Teachers and TD Bank.
Why did you choose your major? I have always had a passion for education and helping others. I strongly believe that education is the key to success and I want to continue to influence and help others succeed.
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student
My schedule outside of school is constantly changing, but Wednesday seems to be the busiest day for me and the day I spend the most time at Rowan. From 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. I go to work at TD Bank. This sounds like an odd part time job for an education major, but in almost everything I do I try to find a way to incorporate education. At TD I am a store supervisor and a WOW Zone instructor where I go to different schools and organizations and teach students of all ages about banking.
Once I get out of work I go my practicum assignment which this semester is at St. John of God Archbishop Damiano special education school in Westville Grove, Gloucester County. This is my shortest day at this school since I am only there from 12:30 p.m to 3:30 p.m.
Other days I observe education settings are Mondays and Fridays. Once I leave there I drive back to Rowan to finish up my classes for the day. I have about an hour break until my next class starts so I will get something to eat either from the café in the Student Center or in James Hall, and try to finish as much homework as I can on any of the open couches on the second floor of James Hall. I usually try to pack my own food since it’s cheaper, but it’s hard to remember the night before to pack it. My class is from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday nights, so I definitely try to remember to bring a snack. After class I will have 15 minutes to get to my Kappa Delta Pi e-board (executive board) meeting, which I am the president of. Kappa Delta Pi, or KDP, is the Honor Society for education at Rowan. We offer many opportunities to our members such as professional development and service projects where we work with students in the surrounding communities.
One event I’m especially excited about is Literacy Alive. Literacy Alive is a national event that all chapters of KDP host. We invite students from our area elementary schools to come to Rowan and engage in fun literacy activities. We rent out the entire 3rd floor of James Hall and decorate it to a certain theme and have a different literacy activity in each room. For example, last year’s theme was Circus McGurkus from Dr. Seuss. Each room had a different circus theme and a different reading, writing, math, science or history activity that had to do with teaching literacy. It is such a fun event for both the student participants and the members of KDP. This year our event will be on Friday, March 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m!
It can be very difficult at times to juggle my regular education classes with my special education classes, while being the president of an honor society and having a part-time job. I just keep reminding myself to take it one step at a time, and that everything I am doing is preparing me for my career as a teacher. Any advice I could give to those looking to go to Rowan or get into the education field, is to get involved in as many activities and organizations as you can through Rowan. You meet so many people from all levels of the field that will help you succeed. Rowan has not only taught me how to become a better student, but also a better leader.
We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here.
Story organized and photography by: Jen Green