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Melody Ollison, middle school education major Melody Ollison

Sense of community
As a non-traditional student nearly twice the age of many of my classmates, I was worried about being the oddball in the class. This was not the case at all. Many classes encourage interaction among students, fostering a sense of community. As a result, I’ve developed many friendships with my peers. There are many talented and intelligent young men and women at UCM and I feel privileged to call many of them friends.

Real-world opportunities
I was awarded the Central Missouri Mathematics Teaching Fellowship. This fellowship allowed me to develop and deliver lessons, grade papers, assist with classroom management and work with students one-on-one. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend many conferences for Missouri math teachers. I’m grateful for each opportunity I’ve had through this fellowship.

Staying energized
Central Missouri Math Educators has enabled me to network with practicing math teachers and other future teachers. We share ideas about how to enrich the experience and education of students in our mathematics classroom. Though often tired from life’s responsibilities, this organization serves to keep me energized and excited about my education and the educational experiences I’ll be offering my own students in the future.

Prepared for a career
UCM has helped me to prepare for a career in teaching in every aspect imaginable. From the beginning, the program has offered me many opportunities to be in the field observing and working with practicing teachers. Career Services offers outstanding instruction to writing the perfect resume and interview strategies. I’m thankful UCM incorporates this into their teacher preparation program.