Oklahoma Baptist University

Teacher Education with a Mission

The teaching profession isnt 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.