The Making of a Teacher

May 1, 2021
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Lana
For Baylor freshman Lana Brady, finding her calling to teach was a long process — but it happened all in one week. To anyone who remembers those gut-wrenching high-school decisions, that makes perfect sense.

Lana thought she had it all figured out — double major in linguistics and Spanish, like her high school mentor, and commit her life to service, maybe mission work as a translator. But her mentor challenged her — as mentors do — to branch out and explore new areas, asking, “Why are you going to study something you already know how to do?”

That launched a long week of anxiety, until Lana found her answer through prayer.

“God showed me I needed to be a teacher,” she said, “even though that was the one thing I thought I would never do, believing I was not patient or gentle enough. And I was definitely afraid to fail.”

Now Lana feels very much at home in Baylor’s elementary education program. “And the Lord has given me the patience,” she said.

But something else about studying education at Baylor terrified Lana — the sticker price.

“Whenever I wore a Baylor shirt in high school, my friends’ parents would tease me about the cost,” she said. For Lana’s single-parent family — with a sister already in college — cost was no joke.

Through scholarships based on need and merit, Baylor was the most cost-effective option of Lana’s four finalist schools — including one public university. Lana receives the Louis and Eloise Powers Endowed Scholarship for education majors, along with other aid.

Lana has found a tight-knit community in the SOE. Small classes foster friendships with people who have similar mindsets and goals in life, she said. With a minor in religion, she is thriving academically, adding a supplemental certification program in gifted and talented education.

For their first education course in the fall, SOE freshmen taught virtually at a local school. Lana was a bit apprehensive, she said, especially when she learned she would have struggling readers.

“I knew it would be hard, but it was wonderful,” she said. “I loved working with different learning styles, and it was amazing to see them grow.” Although she never got to meet her students in person, she got invited home every day. “One student invited us to her house for Thanksgiving,” she said.

Lana also receives a scholarship as a resident leader in the School of Education’s partner Impact Living-Learning Center, located in South Russell Hall. The community welcomes both education and other majors, and Lana enjoys the diversity of the students there. Lana also serves in a work-study job and volunteer role recruiting SOE students.

Lana hopes she can be the kind of teacher she experiences in her Baylor SOE classes.

“I have never felt so genuinely cared for in my education,” she said.


To find out more ways that you can support the School of Education, please contact Michele Tigelaar at (254) 227-7373 or via email at Michele_Tigelaar@baylor.edu. You may also visit baylor.edu/GIVE.
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