Sharing Passion Through Education: Samantha’s Story
“I have learned not only to be a teacher, but to invest in my students and become their role model as well.”
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Samantha McClain has dreamed of becoming a French teacher since the 8th grade. After traveling to France, she fell in love with the language and spent her high school and college years mastering it. Samantha earned her BA in French language at the University of Arkansas and her MA in modern languages with a concentration in second language acquisition at Kansas State.
“Second language acquisition is essentially how we process learning a new language,” Samantha explains.
She could speak French fluently and understood the process of learning a new language, but she would need teacher training and certification if she wanted to pursue her dream job of becoming a high school French teacher. This is where JBU came in.
Samantha said she chose JBU’s Master’s in Education program because of its “personalized recruitment, community environment, and emphasis on Christian values.” During her time at JBU, she has seen how the program’s Christian focus has challenged her, especially in comparison to her time at public universities.
“JBU has changed my perspective as a whole. I have learned to not only be a teacher, but to invest in my students and become their role model as well.”
The program has prepared Samantha for the effort and time required to be a successful teacher. As a wife, recruiter for JBU, and full-time student, Samantha has learned the importance of time-management, especially since her husband, Michael, is in the Army Reserves and has a demanding full-time job. However, Samantha is thankful to have support from her classmates and professors.
“The professors are very supportive and encouraging. We are really a family here, and we take care of each other.”
Samantha has finished her classes and is nearing the end of the program. She is looking forward to putting her knowledge into practice at her internship with Prairie Grove Middle School in the fall, where she will be teaching an 8th grade US History class. When she graduates in December, Samantha hopes to find a position in the local school district where she can teach French to high school students.
Although it has been challenging at times, Samantha says the program has equipped her with the knowledge and support she needs to pursue her lifelong dream.
“It may seem like a lot of work time energy, but you are not by yourself. We are all doing this here together. That’s one of the biggest differences that makes JBU stand out.”