Twins tackle college and career together
Written by Student Intern: Jasmine Gaffney
Identical twins account for less than half of one percent of all births. Twin sisters and recent Ohio State graduates Brittany and Cailey Lower embraced that rarity and have followed the same educational and now career path, helping one another every step along the way.
Ohio State Marion early childhood education majors Brittany and Cailey found themselves spending most of their time together. Beginning their college journey together in 2015, scheduling all their classes together for the next four years and eventually, being offered teaching positions in the local River Valley district at Liberty Elementary School, Caledonia, Ohio.
The two recent graduates believe being twins has provided them many advantages over the years, especially when it came to college life.
“I would say that the biggest positive is we drove together,” said Brittany. “I would drive there and Cailey would drive back so we could work on homework and other things we needed to.”
The Lower twins also found that having a twin is like having a built in study partner.
"We would help each other out if we had questions and we would work together. I know going from high school to college we were kind of nervous about making friends and things like that so we would always have that built in friend,” said Cailey.
“Sometimes spending so much time together is a lot. It’s good for the most part, we loved it, and we always had like a study buddy and stuff and someone to work with. If I didn’t get it, she usually got it. So, I could always come to her. “The only drawback would be we got annoyed with each other,” added Cailey.
Being at Ohio State Marion, Cailey and Brittany found themselves very prepared thanks to the professors in the early childhood education program.
“I loved being at Marion because of the professors,” said Cailey. “We got to know them and they got to know us because it was a lot smaller classes. They really seemed like they actually cared about how we were doing and they checked in on us.”
Brittany agreed, “Two professors I had, Patricia Muir and Marcus Herzberg, I had them for multiple classes and they cared so much about how we did. They really helped me learn more about education and how to become a better teacher. So they were two of the main reasons I wanted to stay at the regional campus the whole time because they helped me out a lot.”
After graduating in May of 2019, the next step for the twins was finding jobs within the teaching field.
“After graduation we realized all the teachers and the different people that would be applying for jobs. That was kind of stressful to see all the people that were graduating with us that were all going to go for the same jobs,” said Brittany.
“The interview process was really stressful because one of us would get a call about an interview and then the other wouldn’t,” she said.
After applying for jobs and having multiple interviews, not only did the twins have their wishes answered but they were given the opportunity of a lifetime.
“With this school, Cailey interviewed first and I interviewed second, and last minute they had a third grade opening so they ended up calling us both. They called me first for the fourth grade position and offered me the job. About ten minutes later, they called Cailey and offered her the third grade position,” said Brittany.
The two sisters were able to take on their college careers together and now, they are taking on the job world arm and arm as well.
“I feel prepared,” said Cailey. “The school did the best they could with the professors and field placements. The field placements prepared me for teaching, especially my student teaching. I use a lot of what I learned from my experience student teaching.”
“I felt really prepared in basically every manner except classroom management, which is tricky,” said Brittany. “There is no real right way to teach classroom management, even if they taught it to you. They taught us methods of course, but classes change every single year so you have to change your classroom management with that. I would say that is the biggest thing I have worked on as a first year teacher.”
After stepping into the classroom for the first time this August, the twins were happy to have a degree from The Ohio State University and found that it had its benefits.
“Ohio State is very well known for their graduate’s, especially in education. The different principals love to see that you are from Ohio State, which is why I think we got the job,” said Brittany.
“We had our four-five endorsement, so we could teach pre-k up to fifth grade, which is what we heard the license is changing to. A lot of our friends who have graduated without the four-five endorsement unfortunately didn’t get full time jobs like we did. So, we thought that was really important that we had that on our degree.”
Brittany and Cailey Lower are happy to have had the opportunity to go to school together at Ohio State Marion. The opportunity of being able to work together as well is a special bonus. The twins have started their teaching careers, following in the footsteps of their uncle and father who are professors at Ohio State, and are excited for what the future will hold.