Seedorf, like many fresh out of high school, took a run at a four-year school, took a run at a four-year school, enrolling at Michigan State University to major in veterinary medicine. While academically it was a challenge, she could handle that. Not so the financial barriers.So home she came and took a job at Western Michigan University (WMU) as a member of its custodial and grounds-keeping crew. It was grass in the in the summer and snow in the winter for the next 10 years.
“I had always been good at math,” Seedorf said,”but it never dawned upon me that I could teach it.” What did seem a likely path was drafting and designing. That brought her to alamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC), where she earned associate degrees in drafting and in occupational education. “I actually got two jobs in drafting and designing,” she said. “Something told me it really wasn’t for me.”
But mathematics was, and back she came to KVCC to tutor in the subject and position herself for a transfer to WMU. “Suddenly, every thing began to fall into place and things seemed right. There are so many neat things you can do with math,” Seedorff said. “When I tell people that about calculus, their eyes kind of get foggy. I really like taking a student with initially poor math skills up the ladder and to see the look in their eyes when they finally figure it out.”
“When they learn how math is used and how it relates to their lives,” she said, “it won’t be long before they begin to earn top-notch grades. That is very rewarding.” Seedorff’s plans are to earn a bachelor’s in math and a master’s in education, credentialing her future as a teacher of math. Instead of cleaning the windows at Western, she’ll be going through a window of opportunity.
Written by Tom Thinnes for the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Career Source Magazine.