Profile: Kendall Wright
During high school, Kendall Wright wasn't sure what career she wanted to pursue. She was talented in math and shadowed several professionals in medicine, but wasn't drawn to a particular field. Then she started tutoring some of her classmates, which led her to realize how much she enjoyed explaining mathematics to others.
The Olive Branch native came to Mississippi State to study math education, even though she wasn't sure whether she would stick with it.
"It turns out that I love the field and the classes. I even took a freshman seminar in educational psychology and found that fascinating, and so I minored in it," Wright said.
The senior is nearly finished with a rigorous combination of math and education courses.
"When I got up to calculus IV and differential equations, most people just assumed I was an engineering student, but all of the math education majors take these classes."
She said her degree will allow her to teach students from middle school to high school. After graduation, Wright plans to pursue a master's degree in mathematics, which would allow her to teach at the college level.
Wright said she is especially drawn to the field because of the challenge.
"Math is traditionally taught solely via lecture, and so we are working hard to think of new approaches to the subject, to find ways to make things interesting and engaging for students," she said. "I ultimately want to be able to reach the kids who hate math."
This semester, she regularly tutors a high school student and observes a middle school math teacher to meet the field experience requirements of her classes. Next semester, she will be in a classroom full-time as she completes the student teaching internship.
Wright's enthusiasm for her profession is obvious: "I chose education because teaching is something that I really want to do. I'm not just studying something for the money; I love this."Writer: Lillian Sims | Photo: Beth Wynn
Next week … Gracjan Kraszewski !