Green discovers her calling in early childhood education

Release Date: 9/25/2013

Teyah Green's journey to finding her career path has taken her from nursing to business to Nicaragua and, finally, to early childhood education.

Teyah Green

Teyah Green, a sophomore from Jacksonville, Ark., is pursuing a career in early childhood education.

Green, a sophomore from Jacksonville, Ark., will take the first part of the Praxis I exam in November, one of the initial steps to entering the University of the Ozarks' teacher education program. She decided to pursue early childhood education after much soul-searching and discussions with her professors and advisors at Ozarks.

"I initially came to college thinking about a career in nursing and then I thought about business," Green said. "But after giving it a lot of thought, taking several different classes and talking to professors, I decided that education just fit me best."

A mission trip to Nicaragua this past summer also confirmed her decision to pursue a career in early childhood education. Green traveled to the Central American country with a group from First Baptist Church in Clarksville.

"It was a real eye-opening experience," Green said. "We got to work with children, teaching them English and just playing games with them and helping them anyway we could. I realized then that I could help make a positive difference in the lives of children."

It was Green's first-ever trip outside the United States and it sparked a love of service that she plans to continue.

"I can't wait to go back next year," she said. "I learned so much about myself and gained an incredible amount of confidence in myself and my abilities by stepping outside my comfort zone. I realized that I can help make a small difference in people's lives, and that's a great feeling."

Green credits a pair of Ozarks faculty members - Assistant Professor of Management and Business Cynthia Lanphear and Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Shelli Henehen - for helping her find her career direction and for providing a mentoring presence during her first two years in college.

"I had Ms. Lanphear in freshman seminar and she really helped me adjust to college life and encouraged me to make the most out of my college years. She has been a great friend," Green said. "Dr. Henehen has been a wonderful mentor and friend as well. We've talked for hours in her office about career choices and early childhood education. I see how much she loves teaching and how much joy she gets from her profession and that has inspired me."

Green has been actively involved in numerous student organizations, including the Campus Activities Board, Student Foundation Board. CHANGE, Baptist Campus Ministries and the Ozarks Student Education Association (OSEA). She is also editor of the University yearbook, The Aerie.

"I like to be involved in a lot of things and this campus encourages being involved," she said. "I've met so many wonderful people through these organizations."

As Green prepares for her Praxis exam and continuing her teacher education curriculum, she knows she has the support and help of the faculty.

"I don't like these types of tests and it's a little scary, but Dr. Henehen has been working with me and helping me prepare," Green said. "I have a goal and a plan now to pursue early childhood education, and I know I'm going to have help getting there."

Requirements for admission into the U of O Teacher Education Program

The Teacher Education Committee requires prospective teacher education candidates to meet a definable list of standards for admission into the Teacher Education Program as follows:

  • Have acquired sophomore standing.
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 2.75 or better as their official Ozarks' cumulative grade as determined by the Office of the University Registrar.
  • Have a C- or better in Composition I and II, Basic Oral Communication, and College Algebra.
  • Submit an application and written clearance from the Student Life Office.
  • Be taking or have completed EDU 1003 – Theories of Human Learning with a C- or better.
  • Have earned a C or better on their initial philosophy paper written EDU 1003.
  • Submit a writing sample analyzing the Education Division Conceptual Framework.
  • Submit scores from the Praxis I tests that meet or exceed the current cut-off requirement as established by ADE. Candidates with scores below the cut-off are advised to seek remedial help and are limited to three attempts to pass all sections of the tests.
  • Must not have received a negative professional behavior checklist report or must have resolved the nature of that report.
  • Appear for a personal interview with the Teacher Education Committee.