Senior Spotlight: Taylor Thomas: Future Educator

by Katie Burns, ID Magazine Layout Editor

Senior Taylor Thomas is about to make her mark at Simpson and walk through the doors of her future classroom.

Thomas is originally from West Des Moines, studying elementary education with endorsements in early childhood and kindergarten through eighth-grade reading. On-campus, she is part of the Interfaith program as a fellow.

She chose Simpson not only because it was close to her hometown, but also because of what Simpson had to offer within her field of study.

“I was looking for a smaller college that wasn’t too far from home and I ended up liking the education department,” Thomas said.

Thomas knew Simpson was the right fit as she stepped into her first education class. After three years of the education program, she says the content she is learning will be impactful with her education journey and the different skills that come into play within this field.

“Content-wise, I’ve learned a lot about relationship building with students and how to have a more student-centered classroom. I really appreciated that the courses haven’t just been strictly content,” Thomas said. “All of the courses in the education department have given me experience teaching and working with colleagues. I feel like collaboration and working together have been emphasized and that’s an important skill in education.”

Not only did classes she has taken at Simpson help her grow as an educator, Thomas said she wouldn’t be where she is today without the professors that turned her dream into a reality.

“My advisor Kate Lerseth has been really helpful whenever I’ve had questions. She helped me plan out my three years at Simpson and has always been open to helping me or writing letters of recommendation whenever I needed it,” Thomas said. “Other professors that have been impactful for me were Sharon Jensen and Katrina Cummings. I always felt like I could go to those three professors about anything academically or just personally and they would help me out.”

Some advice Thomas would give to future freshmen coming to Simpson is that they should focus on their relationships with professors to make their time at college worthwhile.

“Take the time to get to know your professors, because they will be the ones to help you through the process,” Thomas said. “Make sure you’re taking time to get the full college experience; make lifelong friends and just enjoy your time.” 

She said that her favorite memories at Simpson reflected on the people that have been by her side since her first year and wouldn’t have made her college experience worthwhile if it wasn’t for them.

“My favorite memories at Simpson have been memorable because of the people that I’ve been with,” Thomas said. “I’ve made my best friends on campus, and really the best experiences from my time seem to have just been because of the people that I spent my time with.” 

Thomas is ready to take the world by storm in her future classroom and said she is ready to educate kindergarten through second-grade students with the skills and education she had at Simpson.