Callie is one of many inspirational educators you will meet in the upcoming Voices addition to our website.
Anthems of adventist educators
1st and 2nd Grade Teacher | 8 years of teaching experience
Growing up, Callie Allen knew she wanted to be a teacher—that is, she says, after realizing that being a mermaid wasn’t a viable career.
The great teachers that taught her during her years in Adventist schools inspired and encouraged her, and she wanted to follow in their footsteps. But toward the end of high school, she felt pressured to choose a career in the medical field, so she started college as a nursing major. A year later, struggling with science courses and doubts about her future, she came to the conclusion that the medical field wasn’t for her. She knew that she enjoyed caring for children—she had experience babysitting and working with kids during church functions—and she still had the desire to help students in the ways her teachers had helped her, so Callie reevaluated her dreams and focused on earning her education degree.
Now, eight years into her career, she confidently says that deciding to become a teacher in the Adventist system was the right choice for her. “Having the freedom to teach children about Jesus Christ and the love He has shown me throughout my life” has been a blessing to her, she says, and she thrives on being able to model that for kids in a safe, Christian environment. “I am able to share those experiences with them, have conversations, and pray with my students.”
Callie is proud to be the product of Adventist schools, and she’s all in on giving her students a holistic, balanced education like the one she received. “The opportunity that Adventist schools provide is astounding,” she says. “I experienced leadership camps in high school, ACA [Adventist Colleges Abroad], working at a summer camp, and traveling with my college orchestra, to name a few. Everywhere I went, I met so many different people that helped mold and shape who I am today. Having these experiences solidified my choice to become an educator because I enjoy meeting new people and sharing my experiences with others, especially my students, may spark their interest to continue their educational path.”
“My favorite part of being a teacher has been getting to know each student that enters my classroom.”
Teaching at a K-8 elementary school with smaller class sizes gives Callie the opportunity to get to know her students on a personal level. “My favorite part of being a teacher has been getting to know each student that enters my classroom,” she shares. That personal attention helps students get a more individualized education that helps them reach their potential, and it helps students bond more tightly to each other.
Her career has also allowed her to witness to non-Adventist students and their families, and to the wider community. “It’s been a blessing to have students from all over the community get a taste of who Adventists are,” she says. “I have seen behavior changes in so many of my students simply because of the love they have been shown and given.”
And Callie loves using her creativity inside and outside of her classroom to create a fun place for students to discover, create, grow, and learn new things about themselves and the world they live in. That dedication, along with being able to provide a spiritual atmosphere for students, is what she believes sets apart Adventist schools from the rest. “[My hope is that Adventist schools] will be known in a positive light,” she says. “I want people to understand that Adventist education offers a different experience that is hard to find anywhere else.”
Providing that experience comes with a cost, though, something all educators know. “This isn’t just a 9-5 job,” Callie confirms. “Adventist educators are invested not only academically but emotionally. You can’t leave your work at work.” Instead, Callie and her fellow educators become invested in each of their students, wanting the best for them in this life and eternally.
“It’s an experience of a lifetime; there’s never a dull moment, and you’ll make friends for life.”
Her career path has also taught Callie more about her own personal faith as she’s shared her story and beliefs with her students, their families, other educators, and the community. She’s also made friends and built a solid foundation for herself and her students, and she encourages others who might be thinking about a career in education to pursue their dreams. “We need good teachers and if you’re considering it, then your heart is in the right place,” she says. “It’s an experience of a lifetime; there’s never a dull moment, and you’ll make friends for life.”
According to Callie, educating children is a serious responsibility that also comes with love and laughter. “I absolutely love watching my students grow to love each other and God,” she says, hopeful that the gifts of love, time, and education they receive now will stick with them for life. “I want them to be able to look back on their experiences and know that they were loved and cared for.”
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