As a teacher in a predominately African-American school, Michael McKinney appreciates how Huntington prepared him for teaching in culturally diverse settings.
When Michael was a student, he presented outdoor environmental programs at a camp for inner city children. He also taught African-American and Hispanic students in Fort Wayne through a multicultural practicum. These and other experiences provided invaluable lessons that helped Michael land a job teaching 12th-grade environmental systems at Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas.
Michael was first attracted to Huntington University because of the newly built, 93,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Science Hall. “I loved the campus and the people,” he said.
Michael graduated from Huntington in 2006. Looking back, he sees that the education he received prepared him well to be a science teacher.
“When I am teaching a concept, I have to know it inside and out,” he said. “The students will become confused if that is not the case. These kids have some good questions about what they are learning. If not for my science professors, I would not be able to give them answers.”
Among his other challenges on the job, Michael tries to motivate his students to learn. “Some of my students do not like science, and they are counting down the days to graduation.”
Michael majored in biology education at Huntington, but also studied other sciences to supplement his major. He took several physics and chemistry classes and believes that his overall knowledge of science is better than some of his peers.
“Many teachers know the subject they teach but not the other sciences,” he said.
The professors at Huntington also helped Michael establish a Christian perspective on science. Michael appreciates that the faculty did not impose their views on him but instead encouraged all students to think for themselves. Elsewhere, Michael says, “faith is strongly discouraged. Everything needs to be explained naturally. There are so many times when I would wonder how anyone could not believe in God when looking at all the design in the world.”
Not only did his professors provide a solid education, but they made efforts to befriend Michael. He appreciated the faculty’s caring nature more than any other aspect of Huntington University.
“Dr. Burch and Dr. Evans were people I could always talk to no matter what the situation. I can still call them up and talk about what is going on in my life and theirs.” Michael adds. “How many students from big schools can say they baby-sat their professors’ kids?”
Michael says he also formed close relationships with other students. Extracurricular activities offered Michael many opportunities to meet friends. He was involved with the campus radio station, international education honor society and various intramural sports.
Reflecting on his college experience, Michael says he grew spiritually. “Being in the dorm around other guys who are going through the same things as you is very encouraging. We would have weekly Bible study and prayer time,” Michael said. “Guys would keep each other accountable." Huntington's chapel programs helped Michael integrate faith and learning.
“The chapels made me think and wrestle with issues that mattered,” he said.
Michael’s advice to future Huntington students? “Work as hard as possible to learn everything you can from the great professors you have.”Discover what Huntington University can do for you.
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