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From the Senate Floor to the Classroom

  • By: Ansley Kary
  • Published:
man in suit at the Indiana Statehouse

The Taylor University Education department equips students to be competent, caring, and reflective teachers—excited about their calling and prepared for world service. William Shroyer ‘20, now a seventh grade teacher in Brownsburg, Indiana, is just one of Taylor’s graduates embodying this mission. 

For Shroyer, teaching has always been a clear aspiration. When he was a freshman, he quickly declared an Elementary Education major and then took time to choose a concentration. At Taylor, all Elementary Education students must complete at least one concentration, minor, or licensure to ensure that they are prepared adequately for a future career. Through Taylor’s diverse foundational core classes, Shroyer discovered a deep love and passion for history and decided to switch to Social Studies Education.

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Will Shroyer now teaches 7th grade social studies in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Student Teaching Gateway to Dream Job

For Education majors, observing and assisting in the classroom begins freshman year. Throughout four years at Taylor, students experience the classroom in a myriad of capacities, culminating with a student teaching experience, where they teach at two different schools and grade levels during their senior year.

By graduation, students are equipped with the top-notch tools necessary to teach social studies and feel comfortable in a middle school or high school classroom.

Shroyer completed his student teaching at Brownsburg Corporation at the high school level, teaching a 12th grade government class. During one of his lessons, the school administration came to observe his class. They were all very impressed with Shroyer and encouraged him to apply for a position at the school after graduation.

Internship at Indiana State Senate

But before Shroyer began his job at Brownsburg, he had the opportunity to grow his experiences in other ways. He graduated in December of 2020, an inopportune time to be scouting out potential teaching positions. In order to still gain experience and add to his skill set, he looked beyond the classroom and set his sights on an internship with the Indiana State Senate. 

“I love government,” Shroyer wrote when he applied for the internship. “I want to be able to teach students government for the rest of my life, and this internship will prepare me to be a really good teacher someday.”

As a legislative intern, Shroyer’s job consisted of balancing a schedule for the senator, taking notes at lobbyist meetings, and tracking legislation that had been authorized. Each day, the office would receive thousands of emails from people all over the state. Shroyer managed all responses, along with reviewing events on the senate floor and keeping the senate up to date. 

In his off time, Shroyer decided to get involved in supporting a political campaign. He got connected with Republican Senator Todd Young, who was running for United States Congress. Due to the nature of the campaign, all of the work done by Shroyer had to be completed outside his time as a legislative intern, on Saturdays and Sundays, to avoid a conflict of interest. 

The Indiana Senate is in session from January to June, so spots as a state intern are competitive. In his application, Shroyer emphasized the classes he took at Taylor, his successful student teaching position at Brownsburg, and his future aspirations as a government teacher to support why he would be the best candidate for the position. Beyond Shroyer’s packaged resume and cover letter, he also credits the extraordinary letter of recommendation that his Taylor professors wrote for him.

Preparation at Taylor

After his internship, Shroyer applied to teach at Brownsburg and was hired. He is now enjoying his first year of teaching full-time, working as a seventh grade teacher.

His days consist of teaching multiple world history classes and providing enrichment for students who want to dig deeper. Outside of lectures, he puts his preparation skills to the test and cultivates personal relationships with students.

“From the moment the students walk through the doors until they leave, I am making activities, meeting with students during my lunch, during my free period to kind of review with them, and catch up with them on homework,” Shroyer said.

Shroyer said that Taylor both increased his level of professionalism and helped him recognize the important factors to focus on while pursuing a job, along with giving him practical elements to keep like lesson plans.

“I know that half of the papers I wrote in my education classes, I used in my interviews to get my teaching job,” Shroyer said.

In his classes at Taylor, Shroyer had to prepare a plethora of lesson plans as well as nail down his own unique philosophy on education. He was able to take these same lesson plans and replicate them in his own classroom to ultimately secure his teaching position at Brownsburg.

Taylor’s Missional Call

Shroyer said that Taylor gave him a real sense of mission when applying for teaching jobs. 

“Taylor prepared me professionally, but they also prepared me missionally as well,” Shroyer said. “I want to work in this community or in this school corporation, because I know that I can be a voice for Christ in that area.”

Shroyer’s greatest piece of advice to incoming and current Taylor students to practice what is learned in classes. He says that classes are remarkable but not sufficient unless you implement what you are learning. 

“Taylor pushed that too,” Shroyer said. “Taylor is like, we are going to give you the knowledge you need, but you need to go out and practice it.”

Study Education at Taylor University 

Taylor’s Education program seeks to equip students to teach in a variety of contexts. With a success rate of 98%, Taylor Education students are placed almost immediately post-graduation in jobs, internships, or graduate school placements. Making an impact everywhere they go, Education majors have many career options—from camp director to in-class teacher to missionary. To learn more about Taylor’s education program, read more here.