Kindergarten teacher Bethany Singer says the education she received from Ball State gave her a foundation to teach math to students of all ages. Her master of arts in foundational mathematics teaching in the community college helped her shift her career in the direction she wanted.
“The classes were filled with teaching techniques that I could take back and use in my class immediately.”
Budget cuts facilitate change
After eight satisfying years of teaching middle school math at Byron Center Public Schools in southwestern Michigan, state budget cuts eliminated team teaching arrangements, resulting in longer school days, larger class rosters, and burnout for Bethany Singer.
Certified in early childhood education, she was asked to fill a teaching position in the kindergarten. Because she missed interacting with older students, Singer also found the opportunity to teach college algebra in the evenings at a local university. But after serving as an adjunct for two years, she needed a master’s degree to continue teaching at the college level.
“That was a major piece of my decision to pursue a master’s degree in math education,” says Singer.
Affordability was a factor
Affordability played a consideration in her degree search. “Ball State was very reasonably priced compared to other online programs I found,” she says.
Another factor was the feasibility of pursuing a degree with the other demands in her world.
“Working full time and being a wife and mother to two boys in elementary school required quite a bit of juggling,” says Singer, who considered only online programs before enrolling in Ball State.
Professor helped with publication
Singer says her professors were great mentors.
“The classes that Dr. Ann Leitze taught were filled with teaching techniques that I could take back and use in my class immediately,” says Singer.
After a course in which Singer and her classmates created problem-solving opportunities to use in their respective classrooms, Leitze worked with her grad students to get their project published in a national publication for math teachers.
“When a college student, middle school student, second grader, or kindergartener is in my classroom, they become a part of me,” she says. “The education I received at Ball State University has provided me with an incredible foundation to reach students at any age.”