Adult Education Instructor Encourages Students to Persevere

January 12, 2021 |

In order to improve over time, we all share the need to move forward even when it’s difficult.

That’s according to Kathy Amsinger, an adult education instructor, who teaches her students to persevere and persist in order to reach their goals.

Amsinger teaches with the Adult Education & Literacy (AEL) program, offered through East Central College, at the Rolla and St. James class locations.  She has been the instructor at these sites for over six years, and prior to that taught at Linn and Cuba.

Each student who attends AEL classes receives an individualized lesson plan.

Amsinger added that 90-95 percent of the students need help with math. She helps them “fill in the holes” of what they’ve missed.

Amsinger said she loves watching the transition that takes place in her student’s attitudes and beliefs.  The tools that she gives them to build skills in math carry over to the other subjects as well.

She stresses that critical thinking and seeking out detail are essential to success in all areas, and that due to modern day technology, we tend to scan for information more than look for details.

“The good news is, you can learn,” Amsinger said.

With her years of experience, her view is that it may be scary for some adult learners to begin this journey, wondering if they’ll succeed or if they’ll face disappointment.  Amsinger once had an instructor tell her, “it’s about 10 percent academics and 90 percent working on how they perceive themselves.”

Part of her mission is to encourage students to learn how to motivate themselves with positive self-talk.

She has been faced with helping students that were ready to take the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) and didn’t believe in themselves, as well as students who were not yet ready to test and thought they could pass.

To each group, she teaches the same concept.

“How we deal with ups and downs determines our success,” Amsinger said. “It takes hard work and sweat equity; pushing through days when you want to give up.”

While many students face obstacles, Amsinger lets her students know that an excuse can turn into a habit, and that she will help them develop effective routines.

“It’s exciting to help them in this journey,” she added. “It’s all about their success —That’s why I keep doing it.”

She has witnessed many changes in the program, including the objectives the students are supposed to meet, and explains that changes have been good for the most part.

Amsinger promotes ECC and its quest to award a Transition Scholarship for a free three credit hour course to graduates of the AEL program.

“They invest in our students. Yay, East Central!” Amsinger tells her students.

Her goal is to prepare each of her students to pass the HiSET and earn their High School Equivalency certificate, then see them move on to more achievements.  She inspires in her students a willingness to work hard, continue to grow and remain teachable.

“We are all the same.  We are all a work in progress.”