Hometown: West Plains
Currently Resides: West Plains
Occupation: Elementary Teacher
All Degrees: AA Teaching- Missouri State-West Plains, BS Elementary Education- Missouri State University, Master’s in Elementary Education- Missouri State University
“My experience at Missouri State University-West Plains can be summed up in two words: Life Changing.”
When Amber Galiher first started attending classes, she lacked confidence in her ability to be a successful student, explaining she was unwilling to share her own unique thoughts and ideas. As the semester went on, however, Galiher says her instructors encouraged her and her voice.
“They helped me build a foundation so that I realized how important it is to empower others to see their importance,” Galiher said. “When I graduated, I left with the confidence to make a difference, no matter where my life would take me. I have a voice that can be heard, and their impact has never left!”
Galiher, driven to become a teacher, utilized the chance to gain practical experience with her education. She went into local schools to read to students and participated in programs like “Author Day,” Future Teachers of America and the Missouri State Teachers Association. The most help, she says, came when Missouri State-West Plains hosted a job fair and introduced her to potential employers.
“I chose Missouri State-West Plains because of the teaching program it offered. I was excited to learn that I could stay in West Plains and finish my bachelor’s degree.”
One of Galiher’s most memorable and unique experiences as a student was during a communications class.
“I remember being terrified that first day, thinking that it was going to be the longest semester ever. The teacher assigned our first speech for the next class period, and he explained that all we had to do was tell a joke,” Galiher said. “That class was one that helped me see that public speaking is not something to fear, and can even be something to enjoy.”
Through her degree and experiences, Galiher has utilized her voice and reached out to others. She has consistently been amazed at the number of misconceptions people have about teaching and education. She also speaks to others in her community about the educational needs of children, and the trends and committees established to help them.
“My greatest accomplishment has been teaching children who will later be the leaders of our communities.”
To Galiher, the only thing that matters in her career is when a child is able to learn something new. Each year brings new challenges and opportunities, yet her greatest accomplishments are when students achieve goals they thought impossible.
“I had a kindergarten student come in to my classroom on the first day and tell me that she could not read. With tears in her eyes, she told me it was something she never would learn to do. I told her she was going to learn how,” Galiher said. “At the end of the year, she was reading at a first-grade level! That is what my professional accomplishments are all about.”