ENMU Student Success Stories - Alyssa Walker

Alyssa Walker

ENMU Student Success Stories - Alyssa Walker

Tell us about yourself.

I'm originally from Tucson Arizona and I became a New Mexican in 2017 when I married my husband. We have two children together we live on a ranch here in Tucumcari, New Mexico and I'm the youngest of four siblings. I like to bake and I also have like a little coffee business. I sell coffees like on Friday mornings and I go and deliver those so I really like to serve people.

Why did you choose to attend ENMU?

I began my journey at Eastern in 2016-2017. I actually started at Eastern on a softball scholarship. I played softball my whole entire life and it didn't end up working out for me you know life happens. I ended up going back home to Tucson, Arizona and then in 2017 in July my husband and I got married. I came back and then after we had our first son I was at home and a little like anxious and so I started a job at a daycare and I had to go back to school for that. I got my associates and I don't know what I'm going do and so my husband encouraged me, “he's like you should just finish like you know my teachers did too you should just finish out your degree” and so I came to Eastern because I was familiar with it and I really did enjoy the school and the atmosphere and so that's why I enrolled. I enrolled in 2020 during the peak of COVID when the school was doing a lot of virtual classes. We had to finish out stuff in the classrooms but for my associates. What are we going do so it was just so weird it was like a blur I feel like, but virtual worked out because you know I have two kids and being able to stay home I was able to go and like help stay home with them and do my schooling and finish and teach at the same time so it did work out really good.

Why did you choose you field of study?

Originally when I first started at ENMU as a student I was undecided I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I love nursing and I love teaching and that kind of goes back to the whole serving people. I do love you know to serve people and that's probably you know my love language and I always remember all the teachers I had in elementary school. I couldn't name them up like you know I had Miss Williams, Mr Moore, Miss Mount like they all were influential people in my life so I was like well you know maybe I'll start I started you know I got my associate's degree in early childhood education so I was I just thought you know I am going to continue and because of those people that I still talk to them they're a huge piece of why I chose teaching I really have a passion for making connections with students and being a part of their family their lives and so that really is just why I really wanted to serve kids

What do you hope to ultimately achieve in your career?

In 2020 I had my first class and they really changed me like I was still a little bit undecided like do I really want to do this with kids and so after that I decided like you know I'm just going to go for it I'm going to finish and so I would say like my goals ultimately in my career I want to touch as many lives as I can. I Want to Be an Effective Teacher I want to be a leader among staff and students and I want my students to be able to remember me in 20 years just as I remember my teachers a long time ago.

What is your favorite part about being a Greyhound?

Anyone who goes to Eastern will know that like the sense of community there like you just go and you can feel it like once you pull into Eastern I love the sense of community that everybody kind of knows everybody and everyone's there for each other. I really enjoyed the class size at Eastern because you feel like seeing you know you hear about like these class sizes and they're like 200 kids and stuff but at Eastern you really feel like you get the one-on-one help that you need. That you're seen by your teachers and your advisors professors and without it be like going virtual and the school being able to make those changes because I know I did methods online they accommodated for us I wouldn't have been able to finish my degree and so I'm really thankful and that was my favorite part about being a greyhound it's the combinations they make the class sizes in the community.

Did you earn any Academic Honors at ENMU?

I did earn academic honors at ENMU I have held the Greyhound promise scholarship and the teacher education program scholarship and I've also held the ECECD scholarship as well through I think it's through the state of New Mexico.

What is the ECECD Scholarship?

It's an early childhood education scholarship so the way that it works is like you fulfill hours in a certain type of classroom and then they will like pay for your books and stuff like that they'll pay for your books and they need like extra tuition that you have um it's just a really good scholarship I guess it's I think it's from through CNM is what I think it's through.

Are you currently working on any research or academic projects?

As far as like academic kind of projects I am a student teacher so I'm currently working on like fulfilling lesson plans and teaching students and then I'm also being observed by the school and I have to fulfill Reflections out for like how my time is going I come to Eastern as well to jump start with the head of student teaching and you know stuff like that so just not so much with like other adults but with kids yes.

Are you involved in any activities outside of the classroom?

I worked as a long-term substitute for the past two years I worked you know serving students and I was their only teacher for the last two years I taught fourth grade and so that's really been keeping me busy the past you know two years teaching students and giving my time to them

Where is your favorite place on the ENMU campus?

Since I'm a virtual student I don't get to go very often to Eastern but when I do I love I think it's Avenue K it's like the Main Avenue at Eastern when you drive down it's just so beautiful I feel like I'm at a school back East like Princeton or you know something like that and I just love it, it’s just it's beautiful the grounds are just kept so beautifully I love the brick buildings it's just a beautiful campus to be at. It's a smaller campus but you feel like you're and like you don't feel like you're missing out on like the big city University kind of thing you get like it all in one little thing and I love it I love going to Eastern

What professors helped mentor you at ENMU?

I have had a lot of great professors but one who has really made a difference in my life is Dr. Esperat and I had her during the methods classes here at Eastern, virtual, and she really pushed me to become the educator that I am today really thinking about all aspects of teaching not just you know one or another I definitely don't think if it wasn't for her it would not be the teacher with the teacher brain that I have now or have made the growth that I have this school year in general. like we you know we talked about professors in eastern being a smaller place where you feel like you're not just a number and Dr. Esperat has still continued to reach out to me and make sure like my classes are going well if I need anything how can she help me if there's any like situations like hey I really need help getting advice on this or that she's always there for me and so I feel like that would be like a long-term relationship that I will continue to check in with her and I really appreciate her.

What has been your favorite class?

My freshman year I had taken child psychology and I've had a lot of great classes but I don't know this like just stands out to me so I love child psychology and I cannot remember my professor's name is because it's been so long now but I remember it was like a lot two years ago I had saw her at a Sam's Club in Amarillo and she remembered who I was and so I could go back to that like Community relationship like she remembered me from child psychology and it just warmed my heart I touched my heart because I love that class and for her to remember me really spoke volumes to Eastern in general.

What other dreams do you have?

I would like to enroll at Eastern to get my Master's Degree and then following that you know I have some spare time one day I'd like to open up my own little mobile coffee shop to keep myself busy in the summer time you know teachers got a lot of time on their hands in the summer so those are two things for me one is probably a shorter term goal once more a long-term goal but yeah I'm excited!

What advice would you give to students interested in your field of study?

I would say with the national teacher shortage we have right now we're really needing teachers and good teachers too. I would say don't give up there is going to be hard times there's going to be really hard times last semester was hard very hard especially having a family but I think like you find your support system and you stick with it you just take one day at a time and just don't give up because at the end of the day it is really worth it. Right now I'm so excited I'm going to graduate soon the end is near it's felt like a long road and a long journey but it really hasn't been and I think if you just continue to reach out to your advisors and your professors and like we talked about you know a ton of people are there to help and they want to help you so reach out don't give up and good luck!