Middle Tennessee State University’s Education program is made up of students who are dedicated to shaping the next generation the way their teachers shaped them. One of these students is Allison Massey, whose education experience is the reason for her wanting to be a teacher. After struggling with learning difficulties like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia in her early school years, Massey found that her teachers were ready and willing to help her through them.
“I do remember though, in elementary school I had three teachers, especially that would move mountains to help me,” Massey said about her earliest teachers.
Massey says those teachers are the reason she wants to go into a career as an educator. The impact they made on her by being there during her roughest moments as well as her grandmother and aunt being teachers is what made her change her major to education in her sophomore year at MTSU. Massey realized that her love for kids and getting to spend time with them was the key to discovering she wanted to study education saying, “it wasn’t until I started nannying and being a preschool teacher that I realized I truly wanted to.”
When Massey decided she wanted to study education, MTSU ended up playing a part in her decision. Not only does she know many teachers who have graduated from the university, but her research into education programs told her that MTSU is one of the biggest colleges for education in Tennessee. She says she’s made so many valuable connections with other students and teachers from being in this program, and that people work together to succeed in the program.
“The professors in the education classes are amazing and really will go out of their way to make sure you understand the context of the class,” Massey says. “I’ve worked with so many teachers who graduated from MTSU. It builds a connection between us and sometimes I go to them for advice.”
The Education program is both rewarding and challenging. The course work encourages students to work their hardest to teach children the things they need to know. Massey says she loves her education-focused classes, and that she just wants to dive straight into her field of study. She says that her motivation is knowing she’ll be teaching the next generation and that she loves seeing the look on a child’s face when they understand a subject.
“Students in third grade and below still have this excitement about learning and it’s so neat to see them get excited over the simplest things. Knowing I will be able to help students like me and show them they aren’t alone and their teachers know their struggles is really what keeps me going in this major,” Massey says.
The future isn’t bleak for educators, not when the children they inspire every day have the potential to become the next generation of amazing humans. Students in the Education program get many opportunities to work with children and develop their teaching style through classwork and outside experience. School can be frustrating for children, especially those who struggle with learning disabilities, and students learn to be flexible and understanding from their classes and professors as well as their own childhood experiences. Massey says she hopes students will take away from her instruction that “there is not only one way to do something and that everyone has their own way of doing things and that’s okay.”
“I hope to pass my desire to always do better to my students,” Massey says, “I hope that all my students know they are always worth more after they’re in my class.”
Author Kylie Wellington is a junior at MTSU majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Theatre and Mass Communication. The views and opinions expressed above are her own.