When Lauren Elrod was little she was always the teacher as she played pretend with
her little sister and cousin.
“I told my sister and cousin, ‘You can be a princess student, or a superstar student,
but I am the teacher,’” recounted Elrod. “They would ask, ‘Can I be the teacher one
time?’ And I would say firmly, ‘No, I am the teacher.’”
Lauren is making that childhood dream a reality. She graduated from Midland College
in 2017 with an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree. She is now in her senior year
at Texas Tech; she will graduate in Spring 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in PreK-6
Education with a Math and Science emphasis.
“Science is my favorite subject,” gushed Elrod. “I think it will be rewarding to teach
science and help my future students feel the same way I do about the subject. Science
helps the brain develop, and I think younger students need it even more because they
are growing so much; their minds are sponges. It is important to do age-appropriate
science and problem solving early.”
Elrod’s grandmother and great aunt were teachers and her aunt and two cousins are
currently teachers. According to her father Thomas Elrod, Lauren is a natural.
“Teaching is exactly the profession she was born to do,” said Thomas. “Kids love her.
They simply fall in line for her or gladly gather for reading or singing time.”
Lauren came to Midland College because of its smaller class sizes, scholarship opportunities
and its proximity close to home.
“I was able to have that all important one-on-one with my teachers at Midland College,”
said Elrod. “I really liked the environment there. My advisors, my teachers and all
the staff were really welcoming making it a great experience.”
While at MC, Elrod was a member of the Student Ambassadors, a scholarship program
where students are actively involved in activities and promoting campus leadership.
Elrod received Midland’s Legacy Scholarship, which covered tuition and fees up to
$2,100 per academic year. In order to qualify for this award she had to complete a
minimum of 40 hours of community service, but she ended up giving back more than 170
hours with the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo, Meals on Wheels and Opportunity Camp.
She also received the Marian and Jan Jones Scholarship, as well as the Friends of
the Library book scholarship.
Lauren earned all these awards while also working 12 hours a week at Midland Christian
School’s After-School Care Program. Succeeding took a lot of organization.
“I normally would go to class at Midland College in the mornings. Then, I would eat
lunch and work on assignments that I had color-coded in order of the date they were
due. I guess that is a teacher thing to do,” laughed Elrod. “I would hopefully finish
before work at Midland Christian; if not, I would finish after work or the next day.
I would fit my community service around that schedule, so it often meant volunteering
Lauren plans to begin her teaching career in Midland. Her dream job is teaching third
graders. Since she is so close now to being a teacher herself, Lauren has reflected
on her time at Midland College.
“I would like to say thank you to all my Midland College professors,” said Elrod.
“Thank you for all the academic help. By pushing me to learn you really helped me
grow as a student and a person.”
Lauren has important advice for students.
“Take all your basics at Midland College; it is a lot easier when you are in a small
environment, and your teachers can work directly with you,” warned Elrod. “At a large
university, there are a lot more students competing for professors’ attentions. Go
to Midland College and work really hard so you can move on with ease to upper-level
classes at a university.”