"Keep learning; be better tomorrow." — My UACCM Story

group of people
Education Instructor Kara Jones, center, is surrounded by her students.

UACCM Education Instructor Kara Jones has spent her career hearing students give their reasons on why they wish to become teachers. With this, she shares her own journey to the profession, gives her thoughts about the benefits of UACCM's education program, and offers a piece of advice that all aspiring teachers should know.

What led you into teaching?
I never thought I’d be a teacher. Never. Ever. Nope. Did I say never? Even though I did not enjoy chemistry, I started out in college as a pre-pharmacy major. Then in a general psychology class, I got hooked on how the brain learns. Fast forward to my first year as a third grade teacher, and I met Sherri Norrell who was a Title I Reading teacher. She was changing lives in her reading intervention lessons, and I wanted to be just like her. That year I applied for UCA’s Reading Specialist Graduate program, and from there became an elementary literacy coach, taught high school reading, and landed at UACCM. Teaching about how the brain learns to read is still my favorite topic in classes at UACCM.  

What’s your favorite thing about UACCM’s education program?
We have the best students, of course! We have up-to-date transfer agreements with area universities, and we hear from those universities that our students are consistently well prepared.

What is one thing that all aspiring teachers should know before entering the classroom?
Only one thing? Hmmm. A lot of learning comes from failure. Keep learning; be better tomorrow.  

What is the benefit of getting an education degree at a two-year college?
It’s a great transition time, and it allows you to seek transfer scholarship opportunities. I think students are surprised at how much confidence they gain in the first two years of college to set them up for success at four-year universities.

Any advice to current students?
Time management is a real asset to your future career.  
Anything else you wish to add?
The career possibilities are endless in the field of education, so it’s never boring. You can work with people of all ages, and while you’re helping them to reach their potential through education, they add precious value to your life. Plus, you’ll make some of the best friends of your life in the teachers down the hall. 


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