Online Elementary Education at Lees-McRae helped senior Lexi Seagle achieve her teaching goals and follow in familial footsteps

Ten years ago, senior Online Elementary Education major Lexi Seagle’s oldest sister earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education through the college’s distance learning program. When Seagle decided that she too was interested in pursuing a career in educationlike her sisters and aunt before herLees-McRae was already on her radar.

“When I first went to college my plan was to only get an associate degree at Surry Community College. When I made up my mind to become a teacher, I knew I would need to go to another school to obtain my bachelor's degree,” Seagle said. She graduated from Surry’s Physical Therapy Assistant program, but soon realized she had a passion for education. “COVID had put some kinks in my plan at Surry and I knew in my heart I always wanted to be a teacher. I decided to come home and get my bachelor's online.”

When she began the program at Lees-McRae, Seagle was already working full-time as a teacher’s assistant in a pre-kindergarten classroom. She said the flexibility of the college’s online program was important to her because it would allow her to maintain a full-time career while advancing her degree.

Although she does plan on becoming a full-time teacher following graduation, Seagle said that her current role student-teaching as part of the college’s program involves many of the same responsibilities and time commitments that being a full-time educator does. As a student-teacher shein collaboration with the classroom’s full-time “cooperating” teacheris in charge of planning lessons, employing classroom management, maintaining lines of communication with colleagues, overseeing the classroom, and teaching each day.

“My student-teaching experience has prepared me in many ways for becoming a teacher. I have been placed with a wonderful cooperating teacher, who has supported me the whole time. I have gained real experience in having the full responsibility of a teacher, and I have learned all the ins and outs of teaching,” Seagle said. “This experience has taught me that the education field is always evolving. I have also learned that while I was shy and quiet, I can now be a leader in and out of the classroom.”

Now that her bachelor’s degree is nearly within reach, Seagle is thinking about the future of her career and all that she hopes to accomplish with her new qualifications and knowledge. She has goals of landing a full-time position and dreams of one day becoming the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, and she believes that the personal and professional development she has gained throughout her time in the Online Elementary Education program at Lees-McRae will help her get there.

On Saturday, May 4 Seagle will step in front of her peers, and deliver a Commencement speech in celebration of all that she and her fellow graduates have accomplished: their personal growth, the finding of oneself, and the development of professional skills that will propel each of them into a successful future. Seagle said that throughout her time at Lees-McRae she has become more outspoken and self-confident, personal skills that will come in handy both at the Commencement podium and in the classroom.

“The old version of myself would be surprised that I got asked and accepted to speak at Commencement. The old me would have never had the courage to accept the opportunity to speak in front of my peers,” Seagle said. “I have become more confident in the classroom as well as outspoken. This program has definitely brought me out of my shell.”

By Maya JarrellApril 26, 2024