Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photography Provided

Following high school graduation in 2011, Ali Kline did what a lot of students do – she went on to college. She attended Ivy Tech in Lawrenceburg, taking general studies classes but thinking that she might want to study elementary education. However, after doing an in-class observation of a third-grade classroom, she began to have second thoughts about a career working with children.

“The teacher looked so stressed out, and in that moment I felt terrified and totally overwhelmed,” Kline recalls. “I left that class thinking, ‘No way am I going to do this.’”

Ultimately she dropped out of school. In 2014 her best friend was moving to Muncie and looking for a roommate, so Kline joined her. At this point in life, Kline had a young child so her schedule was full, but once she started working part time at her son’s day care, the spark to work with kids was ignited once again.

“The first time I was at Ivy Tech, I was 19 years old,” Kline says. “The second time, I was a mom and had a better understanding of children, and life in general.”Ali Kline

She gave birth to a second son in 2020. After that, she decided to take a second shot at college and began attending Ivy Tech in Muncie to get her associate’s degree in elementary education. She graduated with that in May 2023.

“I was selected as most outstanding student in my field of study, so I got to lead my class through graduation,” Kline says

She couldn’t be more thrilled with her experience at Ivy Tech. She was a single mother of two who opened her own small business while going to school. Through it all, the professors were very understanding.

“Ivy Tech goes above and beyond for their students,” says Kline, who recalls the time she got COVID and had to do a big presentation via Zoom.

“I had my little kid on my lap and remained as professional as I could, but they were so accommodating,” Kline says. “Not everyone has the same academic path, and they work hard to ensure their students experience success.”

Kline appreciated Ivy Tech’s small class sizes. The greatest number of students in her class was 16, and one class only had four.

“The idea of having 100 classmates seemed so daunting,” Kline says. “With classes this size, I felt like an actual person and it allowed me to develop more interpersonal skills.”Kline is now 30 and her kids are 6 and 3. This fall she will be back in her hometown working as a teacher’s aide to gain some hands-on classroom experience.

When she thinks back to that third-grade classroom she observed that overwhelmed her, she finds it funny because she so adored all of her education courses.

“It was incredible to be around fellow future educators because we’re all creative and have a passion for children,” Kline says. “We all motivated one another. I loved the melding of everyone’s minds. I learned so much academically and socially. People learn when they are having fun.”

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