Lydia Otten transferred to Missouri State University after getting her associate’s degree in teaching at East Central Community College (ECC) near her hometown of New Haven, Missouri.
She is majoring in elementary education and started her classes in fall 2022.
Otten knew Missouri State was where she wanted to be after her first visit.
“When I toured the campus, it already felt like home,” Otten said. “I had the feeling it was where I was meant to be.”
Her parents attended Missouri State, and her father was also a transfer student from ECC. Otten said they influenced her decision to transfer to Missouri State because they loved their experience so much.
From one great school to the next
Though Missouri State felt like home, Otten was still nervous to transfer schools.
“I had such a good time at ECC, and I was sad to leave because I loved their education department,” she said. “When I transferred, I was afraid the professors at MSU would be distant and wouldn’t want to get to know me.”
Her professors proved her wrong after her first week on campus.
“My professors are amazing and make me feel comfortable,” she said. “They want to get to know me, which is refreshing to see.”
But her appreciation for Missouri State extends beyond the professors.
“One of my favorite parts of the day is the walk to and from class and looking at the views,” Otten said. “And I have met and connected with so many people.”
She added that her courses have been informative and exciting.
“I’ve learned so much, and I’m excited to apply this information when I teach,” she said. “I’m also getting experiences I never thought I would have, like watching co-teaching in action.”
Overall, Otten said she is thrilled with her transfer experience, and she is looking forward to the rest of her program.
Lifelong dream on the verge of coming true
Otten has always wanted to be a teacher. She loves the classroom environment and watching children have “a-ha” moments.
“My mom is an elementary teacher, and she has been one of my biggest influences,” Otten said. “I was her teacher cadet in high school, and watching her in action was inspiring.”
Otten wants to create supportive environments for her students, just as her teachers have always done for her.
“I want to help my future students grow academically, but I also want them to have fun and know they are loved,” she said. “I cannot imagine doing anything else other than teaching.”
Otten cannot wait to have her own classroom after she graduates in May 2024. She is grateful that her program at Missouri State allows students to practice their teaching alongside their coursework.
“We aren’t just making lesson plans to make them. We’re also getting to teach them, and I’m so excited!”