Since kindergarten, Jenna Maxwell knew she wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Attending Wichita State was a clear decision for her because she was drawn to its teaching program and because her family lives only 30 minutes away from Wichita in Burrton, KS.
Jenna is one of more than 1,200 students eligible for fall 2020 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for this future teacher.
What is your degree in?
I will receive my Bachelor of Arts in elementary education this fall.
What led you to Wichita State to begin with?
I was led to attend Wichita State because it is close to my family. Family is such a huge aspect of my life. I was also drawn here for the teaching program.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
With graduation coming up, I am feeling a little stressed with it being the final stretch of my college career. I am also feeling very proud of all that I have accomplished here at Wichita State. With all these emotions I am looking forward to what is next in my journey.
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?
My most helpful experience here at Wichita State is how much my instructors have cared for me and my peers. They understand that sometimes life happens unexpectedly, and they work with you on that. I have built lasting relationships with some of my instructors throughout my time here.
What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge so far as a student is stress. I have had to work to manage my stress levels. It is normal to become overwhelmed while in college. Often, I found myself saying, “How can I get all of this done?” One way that I have found become less stressed is writing out to-do lists. Having a list of what I need to get done helps me to visualize the tasks that need to be completed. I also am an organized student. Each of my classes has a different color in my planner. Again, this helps me to visualize what all I need to get done. Once I have finished a task, I get such a satisfying feeling being able to cross it off on the to-do list.
What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to finally have a classroom full of students of my own. It has always been my dream to become a teacher and change lives. I am so close to achieving this dream, and I couldn’t be prouder of the person I have become. I can’t wait to share this passion with tiny humans.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?
COVID has made my time at Wichita State somewhat stressful. It has limited and taken away my time within school-setting placements. It has also added coursework to my load. I am in some ways grateful for COVID, because although it has challenged two of my semesters, it has also given me added experiences to shape me into a better teacher. I am learning through remote learning in my current student teaching placement. The pandemic has its struggles but will aid me in the long run.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
Slow down. You are only in college once. Take your time, make new friends and focus on YOU. You are amazing, and you should share that with the world. Take time out of your schedule for you and your mental health. You’ve got this!