Graduate Profile: Austin Mitchell
Having long admired his mother’s work as an elementary teacher, it’s no wonder Austin Mitchell ’07 followed in her footsteps.
The fourth-grade math teacher recently was selected as one of 1,100 teachers across the nation to receive surprise donations of school supplies from Office Max and Food Lion Grocery Stores.
Nominated by the principal of his Virginia elementary school for “going beyond the call of duty,” Mitchell says the education faculty members at Alma College, including Peggy Thelen, Janet Navarro and Mark Seals, are a big part of the teacher he is today.
“Mark Seals, my adviser, was always available to help me figure out my path,” he says. “I remember being engaged in active learning, which is how I learn best, and it’s how I teach children now.”
As a result, Mitchell strives to show his students how math is used every day in the real world. As students continue to relate what they see after school to concepts learned in the classroom, it’s clear his success has reached beyond recess, however.
“Teaching is the only job I could ever want,” he says. “I wake up every morning looking forward to coming to work and seeing what kind of impact I can make in these children’s lives.”