As we celebrate July 4 and the many freedoms that we enjoy in the best country ever, I am mindful of the sacrifices that our men and women in the armed services have given for us to enjoy these freedoms. One of those freedoms, is the ability to be educated and to better ourselves to go into a profession or career that will help us to become self-sufficient and contribute back to the country that has been so good to us.
One of the most notable professions is that of teaching. Hundreds of thousands of individuals choose this profession for a variety of reasons. For instance, some teachers get into the profession because their parents or a family member was a teacher. Others get into the profession because they have an opportunity to have some time off in the summer, especially to raise their own children. Still others get into the profession because their own life was turned around by a teacher who made a significant impact to their life in some way.
One of my greatest satisfactions is to talk to students about their career path, and more times than not, I run across students whom want to become a teacher. Such is the case of a former student, who was in a psychology course I taught several years ago. I remember this specific student because she was a non-traditional student coming to college after raising several kids. She was an excellent student in my class and always made top grades on all of her assignments. I could just tell she was “turned on” by the psychology field.
Although, many of my students were in the nursing field and required to take psychology, I knew this student would be a good fit as a psychology major or perhaps a counselor. After she graduated from Hill and went on to a university, I lost track of her as life gets in the way and we all get busy. After several years, she contacted me by phone one day and proceeded to tell me that she had graduated with her bachelor’s in psychology and was going to work on her master’s degree. I congratulated her on her accomplishment and asked what her end goal was. To my surprise, she stated that she was going to get her master’s in psychology and then come back to Hill and take my job. She and I laughed about her comment, and I told her that I could think of no better compliment than for my former student to have been touched in some way by something I said or did or taught in the classroom that made such an impact that she wanted to take my job. You never know ...
With graduation just ending, I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful young lady, who also professed she wanted to go into the teaching profession. Emily Schlotzhauer was named Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce student of the year at Hill College. Schlotzhauer is from Burleson. When asked about her experience attending Hill College, she indicated it gave her the ability to have a flexible schedule and work at the Burleson After School Program. Emily decided to attend Hill College when she found what she was called to do ... teaching. Hill College was the best place for her at this time in her life. She found that teaching was her passion, and while attending Hill College, she decided to study early childhood through fourth grade education.
Schlotzhauer says, “The classes at Hill College are very personal and I always had a good relationship with my professors.”
Scholtzhauer will begin her bachelor’s degree this fall at Tarleton State University-Fort Worth Campus, and plans to study interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in early childhood through sixth grade with English as a Second Language (ESL) supplemental certification. After her degree, Schlotzhauer plans to teach at an elementary school.
Schlotzhauer’s advice to anyone wanting to attend Hill College is, “Hill College is a great option for easing into college because it provides college classes along with the ability to stay at your job, raise a family, or whatever else is occupying your time. Hill is also an affordable place to get a great education. I loved my time at Hill College and every professor I had there.”
Once again, another great teacher in the making. Teachers have to be everything to everybody. They serve as teachers, counselors, and oftentimes as a substitute parent. I am blessed to have a small part in helping give teachers a start in their college education. Hats off to all of our teachers, whom we entrust the care of our future generation.
Dr. Pam Boehm is president of Hill College