Teacher Education with a Mission

The teaching profession isn’t exactly known as a job that pays well, so why do students choose to pursue an education degree? “It definitely has to be a calling,” says Sarah Sweaney, a senior elementary/early childhood education major at OBU. Sarah recalls wanting to be a teacher from a very young age. “I remember when I was in elementary school, they would sometimes give away books they no longer used, and I would take them home and make my little sister play school with me. “I guess the reason I want to be a teacher is that I want to have an impact. I love working with 4- and 5-year-olds because no matter what their home life, not only can I impact their school work, but their values. I have a godly background, and I can implement my faith into my teaching. In turn, if I impact a child, he or she can go home and influence the parents and siblings.” Alum Chris McCoy, a former instrumental music major, agrees. “I have an obligation to reach out to students. In performance ensembles, students see that music can stir emotions in the heart of the audience. Also, through ensembles, I have a unique opportunity to spend many out of class hours with students in performance and in rehearsal. This puts me in a position where students have access to me as a person, and not just as a teacher trying to get them to learn some fact. As a Christian, I can be a positive influence academically and a role model for life in general.” Chris says that ultimately his love for music and working with students were the reasons he chose to major in education. “I should teach music because I love it and want to see students experience joy found in the world of music. With this lofty subject of music and the high calling and burden upon a music educator, what rewards are there for me? I strongly believe in the idea that it is in the process of enriching the lives of others that our own life takes on meaning.”