Three English for Secondary Teachers Students Named Scholars of Potter College
- Author: Kristen Darby
- Author: Wednesday, August 7th, 2019
From Left to Right: Morgan Aldridge, Delaney Holt, and Allie Millay.
In 2019, Potter College had eighteen graduating Scholars of the college, three of which were English for Secondary Teachers graduates Morgan Aldridge, Delaney Holt, and Allie Millay. “No other major in Potter had so many Scholars,” said Dr. Hale, Head of the English Department. “I’ve had the good fortune to have Allie, Delaney, and Morgan in class, and they are all fine students, truly deserving of this recognition. All three are on their way to outstanding teaching careers, too.”
WKU graduate Delaney Holt from Burlington, KY, had decided to become an English teacher while still a freshman in high school. After an English teacher helped her realize her love of literature, she made her decision. From then on, she pursued an English for Secondary Teachers major, and her decision paid off. Holt was hired for a Language Arts position at Warren East Middle School, a position that she believes she achieved because of her education at WKU. The program is structured to meet certification requirements to teach grades 8-12 and features courses in literature, writing, language study, and allied language arts.
Morgan Aldridge from Louisville, KY, also knew early on that she wanted to become a high school English teacher, and wanted not only education classes, but English as well. “The best thing about the EST program at WKU is that it provides a perfect balance of a depth of knowledge of the English language and its literature as well as a practical knowledge of pedagogy,” said Aldridge. “I never changed my major while at WKU; in fact, the longer I was in the program, the more it confirmed for me that I was where I was meant to be.”
Like Aldridge, Holt felt the EST program at WKU was the best fit for her. “As I learned from my experiences at WKU, teachers have the most rewarding and challenging careers, making hundreds of separate decisions per day. Western Kentucky University stood as a beacon, bolstering the skill sets that I require.”
Allie Millay from Brandenburg, KY, was hired for an English position at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, KY. Millay also felt that the WKU EST program was the right fit for her. “I feel very privileged to have been a student under the guidance of the WKU Department of English faculty in preparation to teach my students,” said Millay. “The rich, diverse curriculum focused on multicultural literature and multi-genre literature, providing a strong basis for further study and use in my classroom.”
Holt is similarly supportive of WKU’s EST program. “WKU promoted proactive engagement—not passive conversation or lecture. As a result, the Department of English and the School of Teacher Education did not just guide me into the education field; they lovingly shoved me into the profession.” Holt also earned certifications in Google Classroom, learned instructional strategies for use in culturally diverse classrooms, and acquired tips on how to focus on every student.
Aldridge will be teaching at Sayers Classical Academy in Louisville, Kentucky. Venturing beyond student teaching into a real-world classroom is daunting. Aldridge admitted, “I get hit by a wave of nervousness when I think that I will be teaching all on my own next year; but I also know that I won’t be alone: just like my professors and peers before, I will have a team of teachers at my school who I can learn from and turn to for encouragement and help. You know you’ve found your calling when you are excited to go to work and can’t help but smile when students get excited about showing you the project they’re working on.”
For students considering becoming an English teacher, Holt offered some advice: “Become a substitute teacher in a nearby county. Teach classes at summer camps. Tutor struggling students. Do whatever you can to consistently immerse yourself in this profession, and take the initiative to reach beyond WKU’s prescribed curriculum.”
Millay added, “Get involved with the department! There are several opportunities to teach, tutor, peer-edit, and assist in undergrad classes--many of these were brought to my attention by professors or other mentors in the department. So get to know your professors, and share your ambitions with them. They will point you in the right direction for career-advancing opportunities.”