Sikeston Student Sets Goal to be Future Science, Math Teacher

Photo of Josh Powers

Powers says he was able to participate in a Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) event in the Sikeston area that required him to spend some time as a “jailbird.” Powers had to raise “bail money” as a fundraiser for MDA.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 27, 2007 — Joshua Powers, a native of Sikeston, Mo., and a 2005 graduate of Sikeston Senior High School, is majoring in secondary education at Southeast Missouri State University.

Powers has had the opportunity to attend both Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston and the Cape Girardeau campus of Southeast.

As a Southeast sophomore, Powers’ plans for his academic career are well organized. Having declared a major in secondary education, he has recently declared a major in mathematics and plans on minoring in chemistry and possibly physics.  He eventually plans to pursue a master’s degree and says, “Southeast will be my first choice.”

Powers says, “It’s hard to say what motivated me to go into teaching. Part of it is the three biggest assets of teaching: June, July, and August. I do love the summers off, but also, I love being social and being the center of a crowd, even if it is just high school students.”

More specifically, he says, “The reason I chose math and science (majors) is because of the challenge. I have always excelled in these subjects, but it has been a challenge. I believe that with my high abilities in these subjects, I will be able to explain it to students and hopefully encourage them to excel as well.”

Although Powers has yet to student teach, he has had the opportunity to tutor and assist with study sessions, he said.

“What I enjoy most about teaching is that I get to help other people find out what they don’t know,” he said. “I always enjoy the look they have when they say, ‘oh, that’s how you do it.’”

Powers says, “It’s tough to pinpoint one favorite moment at Southeast. I like to think that yesterday was the second best day I’ve had; today is the best; but, tomorrow will be better. I always look to enjoy every day I have, so every day is another favorite moment.”

Powers says he feels his experiences in class have helped him to “learn subjects in new ways that have ultimately made me choose to become a teacher.”  He says he enjoys classes that challenge him because he feels he is learning something new.

“These classes teach me to work hard to understand new information, which will shape me as a person,” he said.

As for what he does outside of the classroom, the list of outdoor activities is endless.

“I enjoy hunting, camping, playing basketball and going to the lake,” he says. “I would say when I go to the lake, I have the best time. I love to just hang out with the guys and be on the water. You can swim, ride jet skis, dive off of cliffs, and ride inner tubes. 

“Kentucky Lake is my favorite travel destination because it’s close enough to home that you don’t feel like a tourist, and it’s a blast,” he said.

“I want to teach near Kentucky Lake,” Powers says. “I love the water and the scenery can be breathtaking.”

When thinking of future travels, he says, “I would like to go to Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and perhaps the Dominican Republic.”

Another outdoor activity Powers loves is four-wheeling.

“My favorite thing to do to have fun is to ride four-wheelers with friends. Usually the only things clean when we come back are our eyes and teeth, and most of the time; we come back wearing about 15 pounds of mud.”

In addition to his classes and love of the outdoors, Powers says he enjoys volunteering for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

“I enjoy working with the MDA because it is an accredited organization that has helped thousands of individuals since its existence.”

Powers says he was able to participate in an MDA event in the Sikeston area that required him to spend some time as a “jailbird.” 

“The ‘jailbirds’ were asked to raise ‘bail’ money in order get released. The money will be used by the MDA for a multitude of purposes. I just wanted to do what I could to help out those less fortunate than myself,” he said.

Powers describes himself as “free and easy going.” His laid-back personality is why he says he “loves to smile, laugh and talk to everyone. I love to joke with anyone just to see them smile and have a good time.”

When thinking of his ultimate dream job in 20 years, Powers says, “In 20 years, I’ll be 40 years old, and, at that point, I believe it would be great if I could be the head of the math and/or science department at a school. I want to be the teacher that every student wants to take, not because of ease but because of the amount of knowledge they could gain by taking my class. I remember a calculus teacher that retired before my senior year of high school and a group of students went to her classroom and begged her to stay just one more year to teach us. That’s my dream job.”

His advice for future Southeast students is to “do your best in whatever you do. When you do your best in anything, you won’t limit yourself with excuses and regrets,” he said.