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Distinctive Department Spotlight: Hannah Elerick, Middle School Education

What brought you to Evangel?

The easy answer on what brought me to Evangel would be the Lord. I was dead set on another college for four years and the Lord kept telling me no. I was very lost on what to do next, and then I was talking to a lady at a women’s conference, and she told me to check out Evangel. I knew about Evangel from National Fine Arts, but I didn’t pursue anything with it until that moment.  I looked online at the website and did the virtual tour and I really liked it. I talked to my parents about coming for a visit, and they said yes. My dad and I came to visit, and as soon as I stepped on campus, I felt the Lord tell me that this was it. I ended up meeting the girl I decided to room with my freshman year, and we are still friends. 

How did you know that Middle School Education was your calling?

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I remember making my younger sisters play school with me, and I would make up tests and write their names on popsicle sticks and call their names to answer questions. It was a gradual realization that middle school was my calling. I had a really hard time in my middle school years. One day I was thinking on education and something that went through my head was that no one really likes middle schoolers, and they are truly the ones that need the most love. From then on, I just felt a tug at my heart for middle schoolers. 

What impact has the education department had on your life?

I truly love the Education department here at Evangel. I have never felt uncertain or confused because I knew that whatever specific education I was pursuing or even if I switched my major, they would support me. Dr. Clayman is my advisor and our talks always last forever because she truly cares for me. That fact is also true of everyone else in the department. I have lots of friends that are work studies in the department, so I am constantly stopping by to talk to them and talk to whatever faculty and staff are hanging out in the lobby. I am also an officer for SMSTA (Student Missouri State Teachers Association) so I am just fully immersed in our department. 

How has your time at Evangel prepared you for your future career as a teacher?

I do feel very prepared in the aspect of what my classes have taught me, the logistics of teaching, and my content literacy. I feel prepared to work in a classroom because they start you out in practicums freshman year so you can get a feel for the classroom. I feel a little unprepared for my first year of teaching because it seems overwhelming, and it takes practice and experience to feel prepared to walk into your classroom every day. Overall, no class that I have taken has been for no reason and they have all contributed to some aspect of my confidence in what I am doing. 

How have you seen God present through your educational journey?

The Lord has walked me through every part of being here. I can safely say that often a professor starts class with prayer, ends a conversation with you in prayer or even just prays for you in their own prayer time. I would not be pursuing middle school education if it wasn’t for the Lord. Education is hard and middle schoolers are hard, but the Lord has guided my steps and provided so many people to help me along the way. I have been beyond blessed in my time here. Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise, but I just have to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing. 

What would you say to a student considering coming to Evangel and pursuing a degree in education?

DO IT! I have never felt more at home than here. The professors at Evangel care so much. They check on you, and they love to chat with you about life or help you walk through difficult situations. The staff here also just loves to talk to you in passing or have sit down conversations. I am an RA, and this is my second year in this position. Watching the growth that has happened in my three years here has been amazing. Not just growth in people, but growth in campus improvements and community. There is community everywhere on campus especially in the Education department. You make some really great friends. Also, the education department is the only department with 100% outplacement, I would say that is a great seller. 

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