Megan Kee always thought being a teacher meant students learned the subject, passed their tests and applied complex concepts.
She never considered how much relationships matter — until her professors turned that misconception upside down.
Honestly, I've always wanted to be a teacher. My dad's a teacher, and I've had so many inspirational teachers throughout my life. But I know all students don't have the same amazing support I have had.
The education program at Clemson has so many unique opportunities to work in underserved communities; I just knew I had to be a part of that. My freshman year, I lived in a living-learning community with other education majors. It was great to be surrounded by student teachers from different disciplines and backgrounds but with the same passion and goals as me. Plus, that's where I met two of my best friends.Living-Learning Communities » Opens New Window
I spent four weeks in a classroom in Cape Town, South Africa, teaching math to students from age 8 to 13 — all at the same time. I had a student who could barely add while I was teaching the others how to multiply. It was challenging, but I learned firsthand how valued education is in other parts of the world. Every day, these students — who had very little in a material sense — were most hungry to learn. They wanted an education.
I didn’t have to cross oceans to see poverty, though. I also spent a lot of time in a rural, underfunded part of S.C. teaching poetry — yes, poetry. It may seem weird with my background in math, but teaching creative thinking isn’t just reserved for the humanities — it’s for math and science too.
Some of my favorite classes have been my pedagogy classes, where Dr. Megan Che and Dr. Carlos Gomez completely redefined my idea of what it looks like to teach math. They made me think, “Maybe there’s more to it than just solving equations.”
Every class Clemson students take, every opportunity they have — whether on campus or halfway around the world — leaves an impression.