Brandon Kluzek ('09) | Teacher Education
Elementary education major
from Brackettville, Texas
Brandon Kluzek never thought he would end up in a classroom of first-graders, helping children with their handwriting.
All of that changed during his sophomore year at ACU. Brandon, who had always dreamed of joining the Air Force, began college as a chemistry major. His dream ended when recruiters discovered he had asthma. Suddenly, Brandon no longer knew where his life was headed.
This doesn't have much to do with me. The focus is all on them. It's all about me doing all that I can for them and praying for the things I can't do anything about.
"I had always been good with kids," the senior education major said. Despite his misgivings, he decided to pursue a career in elementary education.
Much of Brandon's drive comes from his desire to show children a good example.
"Many of them come from broken homes. I want to be a positive role model for them," he said.
He does not view himself as the center of their world, though. "This doesn't have much to do with me," he said. "The focus is all on them. It's all about me doing all that I can for them and praying for the things I can't do anything about."
During his student teaching, Brandon has seen several examples of how his influence can change students' lives. One incident involved a child who was a selective mute; he would only speak to his parents and other classmates, never to a teacher. At first, Brandon communicated with the child through other students using a sort of human telephone. After several days of this system, Brandon's patience was rewarded. One day the child spoke directly to him.
"He was really proud to talk to a teacher for the first time," Brandon said.
Brandon believes that his education at ACU has shaped how he sees his future career. "It definitely solidified how I view education. From day one our instructors told us that education is a calling," he said.
He is also dedicated to making some changes in the system. "Some teachers use way too many worksheets," he said. "Worksheets don't require any creativity or artistic ability. I want to plan instruction that involves all the senses. I definitely want to challenge those kids."
Brandon's plans for the future are already mapped out. He wants to get a job in the surrounding area and possibly aim for a master's in elementary education. He has looked into ACU's master's program, which requires two years of teaching experience, but has not made a decision yet.
"It's in the back of my mind," he said.
As he prepares to enter the world of children's education, Brandon's goals are clear. He knows exactly what he wants his students to do. "Even at a young age, children can be inspired to think and problem-solve and create."
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