CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 19, 2005 — Amanda Summers of Poplar Bluff, Mo., is preparing at the Harry L. Crisp Bootheel Education Center (CBEC) for a career in teaching.
An elementary education major, she began her education through Southeast Missouri State University last summer. After relocating a few times with her husband, Brent, she’s back in her hometown of Poplar Bluff. Even though she has been closer to other institutions, her college of choice is Southeast.
“My husband, family and school are my life. I spend a lot of time with my family. The closer campus that facilitates my personal and educational needs is where I want to be, and the Harry L. Crisp Bootheel Education Center makes that possible,” Summers said.
At the smaller campus, she says she finds the instructors communicate well with each other and are careful not to schedule tests at the same time, relieving students of some of the stress of being in college. She says she feels she is getting a quality education and will be a prepared elementary teacher upon her certification.
“I could take courses closer to where I live, but my confidence in the teaching program at BEC is worth the extra drive,” she said.
The relationship Summers has with the instructors and staff is one-on-one, and she says she’s impressed with how they keep up with where students are in their courses and are aware of what students are trying to accomplish. At first, Summers says she found it hard to ask for someone’s help, but now feels she’s getting better at it because the center has communicated that they are there to help.
“I have always been good at chemistry and other sciences and knew I could make more money in that field, but I always wanted to teach and love the idea of teaching,” she says.
Summers says she doesn’t want to pigeonhole herself and say she likes a particular grade more than another, even though she has had an enjoyable experience with first-grade students. Just singing and dancing with kids without them being critical draws her to the younger grades, she says. But she is sure that once she experiences other ages, it will be just as satisfying, because older grades offer different creative outlets and more subjects to teach.
Summers does have a preference in where she teaches however, indicating she would be happiest to teach in her hometown or the surrounding area.
Her advice to other college students is to use the skills of an advisor. Summers has counted on the advice of Lisa Webb, counselor at the CBEC.
“Lisa has been the best advisor,” Summers said. “She’s been there to show me how to use my resources, encourage me to ask questions and not be afraid to look silly. But an advisor can’t provide advise if you don’t go to them.”
One of her strongest assets, she says, is being a planner. The results of her planning have led to a 4.0 grade point average, being named to the Dean’s List and being a member of Kappa Delta Pi. In her spare time, Summers enjoys reading and scrapbooking.