Amanda Summers, an elementary education major, began her Southeast education the summer of 2004. Her hometown is Poplar Bluff and after relocating a few times with her husband, Brent, she’s back in Poplar Bluff. Even though she has been closer to other institutions, her college of choice is Southeast Missouri State University.
“My husband, family and school are my life. I spend a lot of time with my family and the closer campus that facilitates my personal and educational needs is where I want to be and the Harry L. Crisp Bootheel Education Center (CBEC) makes that possible,” Amanda 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.”
The relationship Amanda 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, Amanda 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. Amanda says she doesn’t want to pigeonhole herself and say she likes a particular grade more that 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.
Amanda 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. Amanda has counted on the advice of Lisa Webb, counselor at the CBEC.
“Lisa has been the best advisor. 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, Amanda enjoys reading and scrapbooking.