Student Spotlight: Erin Yeagley
"As a Christian looking to possibly teach in a public school, it is encouraging to learn how to be a Christian teacher in a world that does not support most direct portrayals of our faith."
Monday, February 8, 2016
Erin Yeagley is a graduate student earning her MAT with a focus in English. She was excited to share her story about how she found her way to JBU and where she plans to go from here.
Where are you from?
I have lived in Gentry, Arkansas for all but the first 15 months of my life. Gentry/Siloam Springs is my home and always has been.
What do you do now?
I am currently working at Riggins Construction and Development in Fayetteville, AR. I work as the receptionist/accounts payable clerk. I work in both customer service and do financial projects for the CFO. I have the opportunity to work in many different areas in the company. I have been with Riggins since May of 2014. It's a wonderful job that has taught me so many incredible skills.
What led you to choose a career in education?
I was told by many people over the years that I would make a great teacher. It was a statement that I enjoyed hearing, but I never really put any weight behind the idea. Then in my junior year of undergrad, I took a job as a writing tutor at my university. In that job, I was able to work hand-in-hand with students and teach them about writing and literature.
I got to work with ESL students, which was very fulfilling. By the end of my senior year, I wished I had pursued my teaching certification. After graduation I decided to take a year off and search for a job somewhere in the field of editing. It was only a few months after graduation that I realized what I missed the most was working with students and teaching.
I have lived in Northwest Arkansas for years and have always heard such positive things about JBU. When I started looking at going to grad school, I was looking at a few different programs. JBU made such a strong impression on me. I had no issues contacting people in the program. I was able to sit down with Samantha McClain, and she answered so many questions and made me feel very comfortable with the school and the MAT program. I had such a positive experience during the enrollment process. I knew I made the right decision when I visited my old university in Texas and told my old professors that I was applying to JBU, and almost all of them had heard of JBU and told me that I was making a good decision in getting my Master’s here. JBU's reputation preceded itself both locally and out of state.
What has challenged you academically, spiritually, or professionally?
I am only in my second semester here at JBU and being in grad school has already challenged me academically, spiritually, and professionally. I am working a full-time job, like many students at JBU, and I am still trying to find that balance of not falling behind at work while producing quality classwork. It is harder than I realized it would be to keep everything going at once, but it is also very fulfilling to look back at what I have accomplished and think about where my hard work is taking me.
I can say that I have already been pushed academically. JBU has a very high standard for their students, and I have been challenged by these standards. Just in my first semester I have done things that I didn't know I was capable of doing. I have pushed myself to be a better student and I know it's going to make a difference.
Spirituality is an important part of JBU. As a Christian looking to possibly teach in a public school, it is encouraging to learn how to be a Christian teacher in a world that does not support most direct portrayals of our faith. Aside from the fact that I am learning to lean more and more on God as I juggle school, work, and life, I am also being challenged to find ways to share my faith through my current work and my future profession. That is a true testament of what JBU stands for.
What do you want to do with your degree?
I want to teach high school English. I would like to teach 11th or 12th grade, especially getting into literature and serious writing. I would love to eventually teach at a collegiate level, but not until I have spent a good deal of time teaching high school. I want to work my way up from teaching at a high school to teaching at a university.