Elana Linker

Major: Child Development; Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Placerville, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Assistant Teacher | AS Child Development Lab (ASCDL)

How did you first get connected with the ASCDL?
I first was exposed to the ASCDL through an observation class I had to take for my major. After watching the classroom in real time, I decided I wanted to be a part of the program, and gain more experience in the child development field.

How would you describe your role as an Asst. Teacher at the ASCDL?
As one of the very few student permitted staff, I can have full supervision of a room without another teacher present, so my role sometimes goes beyond that of an assistant teacher. I help run the classroom and interact with the children, but I can also act as a head teacher for the children and the staff when the regular head teachers are off site or holding office hours. It is sometimes a challenging role because I am the ultimate decision-maker in those situations, but I enjoy it because I become exposed to real world experience while still receiving guidance as a student staff member.

What does working for the ASCDL do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Working in the ASCDL touches base with all the above. Personally, it makes me happy that I am able to be at a job I truly love and one that makes me want to continue working with the children and staff. It is also a place where I can grow as a teacher and as an individual. Professionally, it gives me the experience I need to succeed in a similar job outside of college. Academically, what I learn in class is reflected at work, which helps tie in a learning aspect that not many people have the chance to experience.

What do YOU bring to the table in your role as an Assistant Teacher?
I believe I am able to bring a few things to the table in my role. For one, I have experience. I have been working with children of all ages since I was 12 years old, and working in the ASCDL for now a third semester is definitely helpful. Another thing I bring is a helping hand, whether it is for the head teachers, student staff, interns, or the children, I am willing to help at any time for any reason. Lastly, I believe I bring positivity into my role. This line of work can be challenging, and it helps to have a positive outlook.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
My career plans are still unclear, although I think I want to work with deaf children under the age of five. Working at the ASCDL gives me a hands-on experience of working with children that age, and making their learning experience positive and effective.