Kinnley Davis is a sophomore majoring in elementary/special education with an emphasis in reading at Eastern New Mexico University. She is working towards making her love for teaching into a career. She hopes to teach in elementary school with third graders.
"Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I admit I was a teacher's pet in school, and I loved to help whenever it was needed. I get a great joy from helping others understand different concepts," said Kinnley.
Kinnley's end goal is to create a positive impact on the kids that she will teach. "Teaching is more than just academic learning; it is helping groom that child into being a well-rounded, respectful, independent person who is prepared to enter the world and is excited to face the challenges ahead of them. To grow as a person, you have to understand and accept the brilliance of failure. I want to teach kids that failing is a good thing, as long as they learn from their mistakes and are willing to keep going," she described.
Kinnley has been on the Dean's List since fall 2019. She is currently the traditions coordinator for ASAB and the campus activity director for Chi Omega. She also works at the front desk in the Campus Union.
She is a New Mexico native from Las Cruces. "I have three brothers and a sister. My dad is a sales representative for Shamrock Foods, my stepmom is the director of Bariatrics and my mom is an accountant for a housing company Greystar," Kinnley said.
Finding a mentor at ENMU helped Kinnley develop a greater understanding of their field of study: "Even though my specialty isn't math, Dr. Duni, in the education department, has really shown me what it means to build a connection with your students.
"He has shown examples of differentiated instruction, good strategies of formative assessment, and he has just been an awesome teacher. I have been in one of his classes all three semesters I have been in college, and I can easily say that teaching math to young kids does not seem like half the task it used to be," explained Kinnley.
One course in particular has stood out to Kinnley at ENMU: "My favorite class at Eastern has been EDUC 2116. Even though I have only been it for this semester, Dr. Wagner has been an incredible professor and mentor for the entire class. I have learned so many tips and strategies that I will be more than sure to use once I start my career as a teacher. Even though the class has a lot of work, it shows how much work you have to put into being not just a teacher, but a good teacher."
Kinnley has gained a lot of experience in her field during her time at ENMU and has a few words of advice for those wanting to pursue a degree in education. "Being a teacher is not a comfort field; you do not go into teaching just because you know it is a secure career. Being a teacher is more than that. Like I said earlier, teaching is not just giving students' academic information; it is caring for your kids, caring about their success in and out of the classroom," she explained.
"It is understanding that not all students learn the same, so giving then the same instruction will not benefit them. Most importantly, be a marigold teacher. Much like marigolds spread their seeds to reproduce and are very healthy for the soil around them, spread your love and inspiration to those around you. Be strong and sturdy and be there for those around you," she added.
Every Greyhound has a place on campus where they feel the most comfortable. For Kinnley, this place is the Campus Union. "I loved the CUB so much I got a job there. My bosses are so understanding when things don't go as planned, and they genuinely care about us (me and my coworkers) and our well-being.
"The CUB is always filled with friendly faces and good energy; I can go there for a coffee and hang out with friends in the Greyhound Lounge or have some quiet time to study in the ASAB room. Plus, I work with the best people around," she said.
Why did Kinnley choose ENMU? "Eastern was simply the perfect place for me. With its welcoming sense of community to the close kinships, ever since I took the school tour, I knew it was going to be my home," she explained. "The education program here is also incredible; each professor is dedicated to giving the best possible education to every student they teach."