Students yearn to teach

Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor
Chicago junior Gretchen Nyberg, who is pursuing an education degree, says she wants to make a difference.

By Kelly Galvin

Preparing a child for their future is a task that takes a lot of time and patience.

With recent budget cuts and an unsteady job market, teachers face the uncertainty of layoffs or pay cuts, but many Baylor students are still striving to take on the role of educator.

Palos Verdes junior Justine Rellos was inspired to become a teacher at a young age.

“My fourth-grade teacher was always my favorite and told me that she knew I was going to be a teacher. She did a lot of hands-on learning and really engaged us in activities,” Rellos said.

There are many reasons students choose the majors they do, but Rellos has a personal reason behind her choice.

“When we adopted my little brother and sister, I always helped them with all their schoolwork and realized the importance of it,” Rellos said. Her new siblings were especially eager to learn and Rellos was just as eager to help.

Chicago junior Gretchen Nyberg was also inspired to be a teacher at a young age.

“I’ve always grown up knowing I want to be a teacher; I love kids,” Nyberg said.

Nyberg helps teach eighth grade at the Carver Academy in Waco.

“I want to teach middle school grades four through eight. I feel you can make the most difference in a kid because they’re the most vulnerable and need someone to talk to,” Nyberg said.

“I don’t think I would ever not teach, to be completely honest.”

Following a path that she says was set for her has allowed Nyberg to fully appreciate teaching through both its advantages and disadvantages.

“The benefits are seeing the progress in your students and know that you are making a difference every day, and feeling so rewarded when students do well,” Nyberg said.

Nyberg says there are less positive aspects as well.

“I think people don’t realize how time consuming teaching is and the emotional aspect when dealing with a difficult home situation,” she said.

Nyberg makes lesson plans for each class, which can take up to three hours a night, not including the many hours spent with students.

Rellos said helping youth will be in her future even if it is not as a teacher.

“I would probably be a counselor for children. I want to impact students’ lives and care for their needs as well as prepare them for the future,” Rellos said.

Baylor courses have helped improve the skills of these women and have given them tools to help children thrive academically.

“The most helpful course is being a teaching associate because you’re in the classroom not just learning through a book, but through experience,” Nyberg said.

Katy junior Ashley Entz is also an education major at Baylor and is planning to teach kindergarten.

Entz says teaching children in kindergarten is especially rewarding because the children are enthusiastic and love to come to school.

“I have the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of children,” Entz said.

These women agree that their futures as teachers are very important. They are fostering the education of the future and have nothing but excitement for what is to come.