The Path to Teach Alyssa Vossler '15 Alyssa Vossler longed to be a teacher since she was five years old. She had a Kindergarten teacher who had such an impact on her that, from then on, she never thought twice about what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I wanted to one day inspire my students to accomplish their goals and to strive to do the best they can,” said Vossler. “I wanted to encourage my students to learn for the sake of learning the way my Kindergarten teacher encouraged me to.” In addition to her Liberal Studies classes, Vossler found that Concordia's Q&I courses also influenced her path to becoming a teacher. During her freshman year, Alyssa had the pleasure of being in Dr. David Loy’s Q&I Philosophy class. Although the subject was challenging for her, she praised him for his ability to make it both comprehensible and applicable to the lives of students from all majors. “He was not a Liberal Studies professor, but he understood what I was called to do and encouraged me in my endeavors,” said Vossler. “He helped me to become confident in my [teaching] abilities and gave me the opportunity to grow academically. He also encouraged me to come out of my shell and become the person and teacher I was meant to be.” One of the ways Dr. Loy did this was by discussing different styles of teaching with Vossler, and providing her with the materials to better shape her into the best educator she could be. I chose Concordia over other Christian schools because I wanted to have a deeper understanding of Lutheran doctrine in hopes of one day teaching at a Lutheran school.” From her first year at Concordia, Vossler was involved in an array of on-campus activities. She dedicated much of her time to abbey west, a campus ministry group. “Abbey west influenced me as an educator because I was given the opportunity to be a mentor to my peers. I was tasked with helping students who were going through challenging situations,” said Vossler. “By working with college students and mentoring them through hardships I developed the tools to help my current students.” Vossler also performed in ACTS (Acclaiming Christ Through Theatre and Service) which gave her the opportunity to perform skits at various churches and schools in the area. “I was able to share God’s word through performing. This also helped develop me as an educator because I was given the opportunity to write skits that relate to students,” said Vossler. After graduating from Concordia and completing her semester of student teaching, Vossler began substitute teaching around her hometown of Santa Barbara until she was offered a full-time position at Foothill Elementary School as a Learning Center teacher. “My day-to-day consisted of working with six different groups of students from second to sixth grade. The students who came to my classroom were often struggling academically,” said Vossler. “I helped give them the tools and strategies they needed to feel confident in the classroom and to reach their academic goals. When my students no longer needed to see me, it meant that they had achieved their goals.” My students are my ultimate inspiration and why I love to teach.” Vossler’s students empower her to continue in her line of work each and every day. “Many of my students not only struggle in school, but also hardships outside of school. No matter what is going on in their lives, they come to me with smiles on their faces, ready to learn,” said Vossler. “My students are my ultimate inspiration and why I love to teach.” She enjoys not only working with her students towards a common goal, but also being able to a positive example for them. Aside from working with her students, Vossler also appreciates the relationships she has built with the staff in her early teaching career. “All of the teachers and staff members have been excellent mentors to me and have encouraged me as I begin my career. I have enjoyed watching and learning from these master teachers.” Vossler’s number one lesson? Take chances to become a better educator, and never cease in the pursuit of knowledge.