Anderson, Indiana

Education Student Reflects on AU Experience

Fri, 2009-01-30 08:35 -- univcomm
January 30, 2009

Megan Chapman figures she will be graduating next year with a bonus. Not only will she be leaving Anderson University with a hard-earned degree in education, she believes that when, as a teacher, she enters an elementary classroom she will be equipped to educate students from multiple environments and with a wide range of learning needs.

Megan admits her teaching skills were “unrefined” when she came to AU, but she claims that hundreds of hours of class work and assignments have resulted in her mastering pedagogical theories and methods.

The Alabama resident also recalls having a passion for special education when she moved into Rice Hall her freshman year. Once again, she credits AU for providing the experiences that shaped her calling into a usable form for teaching.

“I have learned that many students need an advocate. I not only can recognize and accept the emotions and behaviors of students with disabilities, but I also understand how to teach what will result in higher esteem and a clearer view of one’s role in society.”

Megan recognized how far she had developed while serving last summer as a counselor at Ramapo for Children, a nationally recognized residential program for at-risk children and teens. Megan says she felt a step ahead of the other counselors during her first week of training sessions at the New York-based camp.

“I already was aware of behavior management interventions, frequent misconceptions and problem solving techniques.”

Megan tells of a conversation she had with one Ramapo resident following the young girl’s fight with another student.

“When I reminded her that there were healthier ways than fighting to settle problems, she informed me that she had never had to sit down at home and think of different ways to respond to someone who angered her.”

“I realized that she knew only revenge and violence. Her response will always impact me,” Megan added.

While sitting on the runway at LaGuardia airport for her return home last August, Megan wrote in her journal, “Time to leave this life-changing experience I have been caught up in these last two months. I never knew I was capable of all that I have achieved.” Megan says she will always value the core knowledge and developed skills Anderson University has given her, but she also is grateful for the bonus.

“Anderson University has challenged me to become an educator who not only teaches reading, science and other subjects but also to be an advocate for every student’s educational success.”

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,750 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.