Coming from a big family, Darius Brown had the teaching bug in him naturally, and didn’t even know it.
“I never thought I’d be a teacher growing up, but I guess it’s just a part of me,” says the junior elementary education and history major from Willingboro (Burlington County.)
“I’m practically bilingual. When I transferred to Rowan, one of my first classes was Spanish, and it was a walk in the park for me. I would go home to my younger cousins at my Grandmom’s house and teach them Spanish words. My Grandmom saw this happening and said I just needed to be a teacher,” Darius continued.
The junior elementary education and history dual major is currently a student worker at the Early Childhood Demonstration Center (known as Rowan Preschool) in James Hall on campus at Rowan University. Here, Darius conducts class alongside of the preschool teacher to kids ages two to five.
“I help the teacher tend to the kids, clean the classroom prepare lessons to teach, read stories. Whatever needs to be done, I jump to help,” Darius says. The work enhances his classroom learning, better preparing him for his future career – and all while staying put right on Rowan’s campus.
He first heard about this student worker position through an email sent by the head of his department in the beginning of his junior year. The email was seeking students interested in working at the Rowan Preschool. Darius’s aunt was a preschool teacher, and he grew up in a big household with many kids, naturally used to tending to children.
“I emailed the director of the preschool, set up an interview, and was hired on the spot,” he says. Darius has been working at the preschool for almost a year now and loves every minute. “I want to stay longer every day. I just love being there.”
This student worker opportunity has shown Darius to a whole new career path he never thought he would be interested in. Finding a passion for children, Darius now wants to teach young preschool-aged kids, then eventually move up to high school where he can share his passion of history, and finally peaking in his career path as a college professor. His student worker position also creates an outlet to inspire others to teach.
“In the education field, there aren’t many male teachers. I want this story to help show guys that they can be an educator too. Especially being a male minority, I want to preach that anyone can be a teacher because we all have something special to offer. Especially, young boys growing up need an older male to look up to and see that it’s okay and cool to be a teacher,” Darius says.
Beyond the Classroom highlights Rowan University-provided experiences outside of traditional classroom learning that complement and support students’ career aspirations during this pre-professional phase in their lives.
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