Kristen Cothran ('09) | Teacher Education
Elementary education major
from Mesquite, Texas
Most children like to dream about what they'll be when they grow up. Kristen Cothran jump-started her future by doing more than dreaming.
As a child, Kristen loved playing school - with her as the teacher, of course. She had a grade book and a desk. Soon, she'll have a grown-up size grade book and desk.
ACU goes above and beyond to try to create a family-like community, not only in the residence life but also in the classroom. Knowing that I had someone I could lean on wherever I went was encouraging and comforting.
Kristen is set to graduate in December with a degree in elementary education. From there, life beckons. She plans to substitute teach in school districts near her hometown of Mesquite before deciding where to apply for a full-time job. When the time comes, she has no doubt that the perfect job will be waiting with her name on it.
It's not that Kristen is overly confident. It's that she knows she is so well-prepared for the task that doors will open. And it all started at ACU.
"As I began looking at colleges, I realized how much I loved attending a school where I knew just about everyone," Kristen said. "The teachers were able to establish true relationships with their students, and I felt safe to grow and mature."
And she has done just that. As a soon-to-graduate senior, Kristen is ready to take on the challenges of teaching little ones. When Kristen outgrew "playing school," she turned that love into something beneficial to others.
She began tutoring and using her skills to assist other students. "After my first semester at ACU, the Lord opened my eyes to what I had been called to do - teach. Through my courses here at ACU, my passion for teaching children has only grown stronger."
When she graduates, Kristen knows she will be taking much more than just a diploma and teaching certificate with her. She will have hands-on experience and input from professors who excel in their field. "I honestly do not think that I would feel as prepared to step into my own classroom as I do today if I did not have the opportunity to meet with my professors to ask questions, discuss difficulties and successes, and pray," Kristen said.
She doesn’t hesitate to tout her ACU experience to anyone trying to choose a university. "More than anything else, I think the most valuable thing I received at ACU was the professor-student relationship," she said. "Through the experiences offered by the education department, I have gained a lot of confidence, practice, advice and support."
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