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High Expectations Prepare Teachers for Classroom Success
The hands-on classroom experience, consistent lesson planning, and collaboration with mentors have been integral to my success as a novice teacher.
McKenzie Scott
Elementary Education
M.Ed. '19
2nd grade teacher
J.E. Moss Elementary

After graduating from Peabody, I began working as a 2nd grade teacher at J.E. Moss in Antioch, Tennessee. I felt more than prepared for my first year of teaching after completing my undergrad at Peabody. Although everyone’s first year is bound to be overwhelming and stressful, I still felt I had the tools I needed to be successful in the classroom. The courses I took in classroom management and educational psychology were particularly helpful. I have been able to build respectful, welcoming classroom communities with high expectations for each learner. I am also very grateful for the practicum and student teaching experiences I had at Peabody. The hands-on classroom experience, consistent lesson planning, and collaboration with mentors have been integral to my success as a novice teacher. Furthermore, the school where I work has a very high population of English Language Learners. Most of my students are not native English speakers, and many of them came to the United States only recently. A lot of my students have also experienced some sort of trauma in addition to other barriers to their education like unstable family lives and lack of resources. It is not an easy job, but my Peabody education has enabled me to be the best teacher possible for my students. I am able to provide the academic and social-emotional support that each student needs to be successful in the classroom.

One thing that stuck out to me about Peabody was the rigor of the practicum and student-teaching experience. We were teaching in schools as early as sophomore year of undergrad, with some people being in the field even earlier than that. Although all the lesson planning, feedback, and reflection were time consuming, they helped me grow tremendously as a teacher. All of my professors had very high expectations, but they were also willing to provide help and support when we needed it. By the time I started my first year of teaching, I felt very confident in my abilities and knew I had the skills to be an effective teacher! Another aspect of my Peabody learning experience that was important to me was the common core education required to graduate. To complete the common core, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took classes in statistics, systematic inquiry, and even physics. These classes gave me a well-rounded education and even provided skills such as data analysis that are pertinent to my job as a teacher. For me, the true Peabody Difference was the community in the Department of Teaching and Learning. The professors and cohorts truly became like my family. We laughed together, cried together, and grew exponentially as individuals and teachers. Teaching is a challenging and time-consuming career, but I always felt I had people in my corner throughout undergrad. It was never competitive, but instead collaborative and respectful. The group projects, dinners, game nights, and other activities brought me some of my fondest memories in college. You will truly not find another university that has top-tier academics and research, as well as such a close-knit and supportive community.