Graduate Spotlight: Breanna Smith-Jackson

a woman wears a mercer t-shirt and orange stole. she is standing on a bridge overlooking the mercer football stadium
Breanna Smith-Jackson. Photo courtesy Breanna Smith-Jackson

Breanna Smith-Jackson is graduating from Mercer University’s Tift College of Education with a Master of Arts in Teaching in elementary education.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to continue teaching because I enjoy making a positive impact on every student who enters my classroom.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

Wow, this is a tough one to answer because each professor I had was great in their own way. However, if I had to choose, I would say Catherine Harrington was the best. She came to observe my classroom during my practicum and student teaching, and each time she noticed positive changes in me. I went from feeling overstimulated to overjoyed in the classroom. Ms. Harrington always spoke the word “perseverance” as a reminder to keep going. She made me promise her that I would continue teaching. Ms. Harrington saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself at the beginning of my teaching career. I am truly grateful for her inspiration, positive feedback and constructive criticism. Thank you, Ms. Harrington!

How do you plan on changing the world?

I plan to change the world in many ways. By educating and inspiring my students and shaping the minds and values of future generations. I will instill a love of learning, critical thinking skills, and an appreciation for diversity and inclusion. As a teacher, I will advocate for policies that improve education and support the needs of students and families. I will empower my students and foster a culture of kindness and empathy.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Build relationships with professors and peers. College is a great place to build lifelong relationships with your peers, professors and mentors. So, make an effort to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. Also, take care of yourself. College can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and seek help when you need it.

How did Mercer prepare you for your future?

Mercer provided me with the academic knowledge and skills I needed to succeed in the education program. I gained a deeper understanding of the theories and practices that underpin education. Mercer offered hands-on experiences through student teaching and research projects. These skills helped me develop the practical skills and knowledge I needed to succeed. This program helped me grow as a person. Through exposure to diverse perspectives, critical thinking and problem solving, I developed skills and qualities to be an effective educator.

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