Why did I choose to become a teacher? Growing up, I attended schools in Humble ISD. I had teachers that exemplified what it means to be an extraordinary teacher. My teachers were so kind, caring, determined, passionate, and genuinely wanted me to succeed in life. These teachers gave me the confidence to reach for the stars and follow my dreams. They constantly radiated positivity and love and strived to make learning fun.

These relationships I formed with my teachers impacted my life so greatly. Over time, I decided I wanted to be like these incredible human beings. I decided I wanted to work with kids and make a difference in the lives of others.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor educator-preparation program provided me with an incredible amount of opportunities to learn and grow as an educator. Prior to student teaching, I was placed as an intern in five different classrooms in three different school districts. Throughout my time as an intern, I was exposed to, and implemented, many different ways of teaching. My experiences as an intern truly helped shape my educational philosophy.

Although UMHB gave me unforgettable learning experiences, what truly means the most to me are the relationships that were formed during my four years in college. Each and every professor I had the honor to learn from is so incredibly special to me. Every single one. Each professor showed me so much love and support, and I will never truly be able to explain the impact each of them left on me. Because of my professors, I was confident and prepared to start my journey as a student teacher.

From Second Grade…

My student teaching experience is one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was truly incredible. Going into student teaching, I was eager to learn from those who had many years of experience. I was also excited to contribute and share ideas that had been discussed in my classes. Like many others, I was given two student teaching placements. To start, I was in Mrs. Pontiff’s second grade classroom at Willow Creek Elementary, a Humble ISD school. My time at Willow Creek was very much a blessing. I immediately felt welcomed and loved by the students and the staff. My amazing mentor did everything she could to help me prepare for my career as an educator. She provided me with so many valuable resources and such valuable advice.

The second graders I was blessed to work with were truly some of the most amazing kids I have met. These students were hard-working, kind, and showed such a love for life. They were truly one of a kind. Willow Creek was such a great environment for me to grow as an educator. I had such an incredible time creating and implementing lessons for these kids. My main goal was to provide the students with an authentic way to learn. I wanted to create lessons they could relate to because I knew it would be easier for them to understand. I made sure to keep that in mind each time I went to create a new lesson.

To Sixth Grade…

My second student teaching placement was at Creekwood Middle School, another Humble ISD school. Creekwood was my home for three years, so it was so exciting to be back. I was placed in Mrs. Chaney’s sixth grade Reading and Language Arts class. It was so fun being back at Creekwood working alongside teachers that I had while there.

Going into my second student teaching placement, I was completely set on being an elementary teacher. Actually, during my entire college career, I was set on being an elementary teacher. Although this was the case, I went into student teaching at Creekwood with an open mind and, again, excitement to be back at my old school. It’s so crazy how quickly things change.

A few weeks into student teaching at Creekwood, I completely fell in love with sixth grade. Crazy, right? Middle schoolers? I know I may seem insane to you all, but my sixth graders were such special kids. Their ambition and drive to learn was truly inspiring.

Along with the amazing kids, I was blessed with an incredible mentor. Mrs. Chaney is such a light in this world. Her love for teaching and her love for her students is unbelievably inspiring. Her drive and passion to become the best teacher she can be is something to be emulated. Words cannot express how thankful I am for her.

To Coaching…

While student teaching at Creekwood, I was asked to help coach the girls’ soccer team. For those of you who don’t know me, soccer has been an incredibly big part of my life since I was 5 years old. This opportunity I was given was truly a blessing. My coaches at Creekwood were, and still are, some of the most important people in my life. I was honored to follow in their footsteps as a Creekwood coach. My girls challenge me and inspire me to be a better version of myself each day. I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

On March 27, 2018, my life changed for the better. I accepted a job as a sixth-grade teacher and girls soccer and athletics coach at Creekwood! My heart is so full. Words cannot express how excited I am to pour into these incoming sixth graders and share my love for soccer and sports with the seventh and eighth graders.

Student teaching blessed me with life-changing experiences and life-changing relationships. I decorated my cap for graduation. On it, are pictures of all of my students. With the pictures, there is a phrase: “Because I know you, I am changed.” Thank you, student teaching and UMHB, for bringing these sweet sweet kids into my life.

Are you called to teach? The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has outstanding programs in Education from the College of Education, offering undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees.