Hometown: Montville, Connecticut
Major: Elementary Education, History
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in History, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Internships: Substitute teacher, Danbury Public Schools, 12/14-present; student teacher, Western Connecticut Academy For International Studies (WCAIS), 8/14-12/14; camp counselor, Montville, 5/12-present; volunteer teacher assistant, Ellsworth Avenue School, 9/11-5/14; professional semester practicum, Hayestown Elementary, 1/13-5/13; mentor, Western Connection program, 1/12-5/14
Activities: Education Club president from spring 2012-spring 2014; currently a third-grade teacher at WCAIS, covering a maternity leave; site facilitator for Extended Learning Program at WCAIS
Honors and Awards: 3.73 GPA; graduating magna cum laude; Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, 4/15; School of Professional Studies Dean's Award, 4/15; Global Campaign for Education scholarship recipient, 11/13; Outstanding Local Leader Award, National Education Association (NEA), 6/13; recipient of The Miss Rumphius Award, 5/14
Timothy Nott says, "For me, it wasn’t about 'which' university I attended; it was more about what I felt comfortable with. I wanted a university somewhat close to home, so that I could come home when I wanted to, and I also wanted a small campus. Both my brother (criminal justice major) and his girlfriend (elementary education major) attended WCSU as well, and they raved about the programs and professors. Actually, my brother’s girlfriend was very involved with the Education Club here, and she was really the one who swayed me into applying. I thank her for that all the time." Nott attended WCSU for three-and-a-half years: ECE/AP credits from high school allowed him to graduate a semester early.
Nott says he was born into a family of public servants. "My father, mother, and brother are police officers. The rest of my family is made up of firefighters, medical personnel and security. Because of this environment in which I was raised, I grew up appreciating just how much sacrifice goes into a career in the humanities. I’ve witnessed just how much preparation and hard work is required to excel in them. Often, I went without the majority of my family for holidays or special events. I had to hear my Dad walk down the stairs at midnight, uncertain if he was coming back. And now, my brother, a police officer in one of the more dangerous cities in Connecticut, is undergoing these same pressures. I think of these people — the ones who run into the metaphorical fire when others are running out — and I lend this upbringing to my decision of becoming an elementary school teacher, and my eventual passion for helping others to do the same."
Throughout elementary school, Nott said he primarily had teachers who were women. "I had attended day care from six months until I was 5 years old with a woman. My kindergarten and first-grade teachers were women. My father, traveling the country training police dogs and fellow officers, was home to coach baseball and take me fishing. The idea I had of a male was very far from the educators I had experienced in school."
Nott says several of his professors turned into mentors. "Assistant Professor of Education and Educational Psychology
Dr. Robin James supported me in my efforts to revamp the Education Club," Nott says. "She worked long and hard to get professors and students to believe in my mission of creating better future teachers. She advocated, with me, for more field experience so that our education majors can enter the classroom comfortable and ready. She also taught me so much about leadership — how to be effective in terms of communication and having a plan.
Professor of Education and Educational Psychology Dr. Darla Shaw taught me the value of community service, and of volunteering. Dr. Shaw made me aware that the most important work I will do is the work I won’t get recognized, or paid, for. It is the work that comes straight from my heart for which I will always be the most grateful."
Asked what he will remember most about his Western experience, Nott says, "It was freshman year, and I decided to take a walk down to Ellsworth Avenue Elementary School along with a fellow education major. Ellsworth is within walking distance of WCSU. We walked in, and I asked the secretary if the school would be willing to allow me to volunteer in the building so that I could get some field experience. Little did I know that I would spend the next three years in the school, which quickly became a second home for me."
After graduation, Nott says, "First and foremost, I look forward to getting my own classroom. Next, I hope to get my masters in Special Education. From there, who knows!"
Nott’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Do more with your major than just go to class. You have to become a part of the community. Your best learning happens outside of the classroom, where you can interact with your chosen major in a hands-on, clinically driven way. WCSU has some great courses and professors. But there is nothing like taking that classroom learning and applying it in the real world. Strive to be the very best at your chosen major, and you will reap the benefits."