Alumna Brittnie Morrison, ‘21, started at Missouri State University as a pre-nursing major.
“As a first-generation student, everyone talked about how proud they were of me and how proud they were to say they were going to have a nurse in the family,” Morrison said.
But in her third semester, she realized that she lost her passion for nursing.
“I couldn’t help but feel like I was wasting my time and money working toward a goal I no longer cared about,” she said.
She contemplated dropping out of college, but her job at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield took her in an unexpected direction.
The switch to teaching
As the semester progressed, Morrison learned that she loved working with kids. Her job became her escape from the stresses of college.
“No matter how much stress I felt from my schoolwork, I always felt instant relief when I walked through the doors of the Boys & Girls Club,” she said. “That’s when I knew education was my calling.”
Morrison changed her major to elementary education and began classes in spring 2019.
“Once I changed my major, Missouri State became home,” she said. “I had my first practicum at York Elementary School. I walked out of the school and began crying because I knew I was in the right spot.”
Morrison said that the professors in the College of Education went out of their way to make every student feel like they belong.
“The passion they have for teaching is radiating,” she said. “There aren’t enough words to express how proud I am to be a bear.”
Back to her roots
Morrison completed her student-teaching and is now a fifth-grade teacher at the school district she went to for kindergarten through high school.
“The Raymore-Peculiar community helped raise me,” she said. “I have so many amazing memories from Peculiar Elementary as a student, and now I get to make more as a teacher.”
Teaching has been the most rewarding job she’s ever had. Her favorite part is building relationships with her students.
“That’s truly why I teach. If I can make a difference in just one child’s life, then I am happy.”
Morrison feels that her time at MSU prepared her to be a successful teacher.
“But it is tough. For anyone who is in an education program, I suggest they lean on their professors and peers,” she said. “They were always there for me when I needed clarification, and I am grateful for the experience.”