The Ohio State University at Marion

Opportunities as a Buckeye helped Fuller grow as a person and a teacher

October 25, 2021
Opportunities as a Buckeye helped Fuller grow as a person and a teacher

Hannah Fuller, 4th Grade Teacher, Buckeye Valley East Elementary School
Bachelor of Science in Middle Childhood Education, 2018

The quality of the faculty and academics at Ohio State Marion gave Hannah Fuller the tools she needed to begin her career in teaching right out of college. The opportunities to be involved helped her grow into the person and the teacher she is today.

Fuller attended The Ohio State University at Marion from autumn 2014 through autumn 2018, earning her Bachelor of Science in Middle Childhood education entirely on the Marion campus.

Shortly after graduating from Ohio State Marion, she was offered a position at Buckeye Valley Middle School as an aide to offer one-on-one support for students and help coordinate learning outside of the general education classroom. This is the same district where Fuller completed her student teaching while at Ohio State Marion. She now works as a 4th grade reading and writing teacher at Buckeye Valley East Elementary School. Fuller continues to draw upon her desire to be highly involved. She has directed musicals and plays at Buckeye Valley High School. In addition, she also writes for educational journals to help support other teachers.

According to Fuller, despite all her classroom preparation, her first foray into teaching was challenging because she was hired mid-year.

“The catch? I would be hired in the middle of the school year,” said Fuller, “and would need to build new rapport and relationships with teachers and students alike.”

“While it sounded daunting at first,” she added, “I believe my experience at Ohio State Marion gave me the skills I needed to be successful.”

“Throughout my college career,” said Fuller, “I had many jobs and volunteered across the campus supporting staff and students.”

“From working as a tutor in academic enrichment to leading tours on campus, these jobs helped me understand professionalism, problem-solving skills, and dedication is necessary in any job,” explained Fuller.

One of the most important skills she learned from her experience in student teaching and education classes, Fuller said, was flexibility.

“When plans go wrong (and they will go wrong) being flexible and continuing to help students with a smile is one of the greatest strengths you can have as a teacher,” she said.

Fuller believed her education degree from Ohio State has played a vital role in advancing her career.

Fuller said, “being a Buckeye is both a point of pride and proof of the hard work and high standards we are held to.”

“I see that continuing in the standards I set for myself in my own classroom,” she said. “I believe that my experience at Ohio State Marion helped set me up for pride in my work and a desire to try new things.”

“In a classroom of 9- and 10-year-olds, engagement is always first on my list to help reading and writing come to life,” Fuller explained. “The staff at Ohio State Marion always supported my thinking outside of the box and encouraged me to keep trying new things to reach students.”

“My mentor saw this drive when I student-taught in her classroom and when I graduated, she knew the hard work that I put into my lessons and had seen how I held myself to Ohio State Marion's high standards for teaching.”

“I believe that her recommendation was integral to my first position at the district, which grew into being offered a position as a lead teacher,” Fuller concluded.

“I hope to continue advancing my career as an educational researcher, a passion that began when I collaborated with Dr. Linda Parsons of Ohio State Marion to complete my honors research thesis centered on young adult novels and student engagement in book clubs,” she said.

“These opportunities not only opened my eyes to what else I could do with my educational experience,” explained Fuller, “but provided me opportunities to engage with other researchers and push myself to accomplish goals that felt bigger than myself.”

While Fuller whole heartedly subscribed to the cliché, “teachers wear many hats and need to wear them well,” some of the most important skills she relied on to keep sharp are the ones that people might not think about.

“Optimism, forgiveness, patience, curiosity, creativity, and (of course) flexibility are all vital teaching skills, especially in an elementary school,” said Fuller.

“There are opportunities available at Ohio State Marion to practice and hone these skills that go beyond the technical and get at the heart of teaching,” she said.

“Seizing opportunities like attending interesting lectures, engaging with faculty outside of class time, helping classmates academically and supporting them emotionally, trying new creative projects like short films or writing pieces, and thinking outside the box in the classroom,” said Fuller, “helped me become the educator I am today.

According to Fuller, her education from Ohio State has made her more marketable.

“With a degree from Ohio State Marion, in education especially,” Fuller added, “employers know you have a wide variety of experience and that you are not only working hard at the tasks you're given but working to improve yourself and grow.”

From when we begin as students in our first student teaching opportunity to years later when we are working every day in the classroom, Fuller said, Buckeyes grow and get better with each day.

“When studying in Marion,” Fuller shared, “there are many opportunities that you can participate in that bolster your time spent on campus: clubs, part time jobs, organizations, research, and volunteer opportunities, extracurriculars, and more!”

During her time working as a student orientation leader one of the things Fuller said she always told students was, “take pride in the campus you attended and seize opportunities where you see them.”

“I am incredibly proud of Marion's campus and would absolutely recommend staying all four years on this campus.

“Taking the initiative to seize opportunities and remain on campus to grow yourself is absolutely necessary to becoming a better educator.”

I have learned how to work with professionals and become one in my own time. The faculty offer great opportunities to extend your learning and expand your interests.”

“Whenever I talk about my experiences on campus, people are always surprised that there were so many things to do on campus. I take pride in my alma mater, specifically at Marion.”

“People will talk about the fantastic cost, small class sizes, and the chance to just commute down the road for a Big 10 education (all true!), but the biggest impact that Ohio State Marion has left on me,” she explained, “was having the freedom to try new things and grow.”

“I came to campus to get better,” Fuller added. “I knew I didn't have all the answers to becoming a great teacher or researcher, but it gave me the drive to engage with a great campus and faculty to try and to learn to become one.”