“I love the fact that I go to school every day, not work.”
— Molly (Smith) Niese, B.S. in Integrated Science Education (’10) and M.A. in Education (’11), Science Teacher at Arlington Local Schools.
What’s the best part about being a teacher?
“It’s not the same, even if you’re teaching the same lesson two or three times. Each group of kids is different; each year is different; each hour is different. And there’s something that happens when students really start to understand a concept – that feeling of accomplishment that you’ve had a part to do in that. I don’t just tell my students. I’m kind of their captain for discovery. I lead them. I guide them. I rarely just dole out information. To be apart of that whole discovery… it’s life-changing.”
What made you want to become a teacher?
“My mom says when I came home from first grade and she asked me what I did in school, I told her what we did, but then I also told her how I would have done the lesson plan differently. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a teacher. I also think the influence of having great teachers myself, both in high school and in college, really motivated me to become a teacher and be the best teacher I can be. I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
How do you think UF prepared you for your career?
“I had some really great experiences at Findlay and had many different teaching experiences – including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Mexico to study blue whales. I was also highly challenged at Findlay and I was surrounded by great teachers who were wonderful role models. Faculty and staff really helped me with connections and student teaching. I can still turn to many of my college professors and ask for help, inspiration or ideas.”
What advice do you have for students making their college decision?
“Go to school for the career, not the money or the title. Go to school for something that is going to let you enjoy every day. Everyone needs a job, but I hope you never have to “work”. I hope, instead, that you can pursue your passion and career dreams.”