Elizabeth Miller: Her Story and Looking Toward the Future

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Miller, and I am about to graduate from Texas A&M International University. Yay! I will be graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Bilingual Education. My journey to become a teacher has had a lot of plot twists and unexpected turns. Did I always know I wanted to be a teacher? If you saw my story from the beginning, from playing teacher at my house with my dad putting up a whiteboard for me, you might think so. I would arrange chairs, and all my stuffed animals were very active listeners. My sister and I would pretend to play teacher. In the summers, we helped my aunt set up her kindergarten classroom for over 19 years. I was surrounded by educators; even my mom was in education.


As I started high school, I developed an interest in science and began competing in science fairs, even reaching the international level at the International Science and Engineering Fair. I loved science, and my science fair teacher, Ms. Veronica Viel, inspired me greatly. She was passionate about science and teaching. When she showed us a video about the winner of ISEF, she said that could be one of us. Initially, I laughed, but by the end of the semester, I was competing alongside those scholars.


As my science fair career progressed, I started mentoring my underclassmen and realized I enjoyed teaching and helping others. When I began college, I was a biology major with plans to enter the medical field. However, as I took my classes, I realized I wasn’t passionate about it. I thought about my mentees from the science fairs and decided to switch my major to education. It was the best decision I ever made. The transition felt right, and I knew this was what I was meant to do. The feeling I get when mentoring or teaching is exhilarating. Seeing students’ eyes light up when they understand something or spark their imagination warms my heart, and I know this is my calling.


My experiences at the university further solidified my decision. I continued mentoring, this time with international students coming to Laredo. As the lead mentor, I made it my mission to make them feel at home. We created a family, and by the end of each semester, there were fewer tears. I also worked at the Boys and Girls Club and as an AIM mentor as part of the Imaginarium University. These experiences reinforced my desire to inspire youth and help them believe in themselves.


I have a million dreams and ideas. My parents and mentors, including Dean Dr. James O’Meara, always remind me to take things step by step. I plan to pursue a master’s degree at Texas A&M College Station in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Multicultural Education. I also plan to pursue a PhD, although I’m not sure in what field yet.


One of my dreams for my community is to remind people what learning is about. It’s not just about taking tests or completing cookie-cutter handouts. Learning should be fun, engaging, and sometimes intimidating. Through curiosity and imagination, we can achieve anything. When we remember this, I believe we can change the world.

The most challenging part of choosing this field has been realizing that teachers wear many hats. We are not just educators; we are nurses, doctors, counselors, mentors, and sometimes friends. Balancing all these roles, along with planning events like Christmas programs, has been challenging. As a student teacher, I also worked at the Boys and Girls Club, mentoring students and creating art projects while balancing my responsibilities as a student teacher. Finding balance is exceptionally challenging, but day by day, step by step, we figure it out.

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