Tyler Lega ’18 was born to teach.
As a first-year student at Transylvania, Tyler Lega faced significant doubts about being a teacher. Would he be able to teach creatively in a standardized school system? Could he tamp down the voices that urged him to pursue a different, perhaps more lucrative career?
Working with alumnus Tyler Murphy, his mentor in the 100 Doors to Success program, Lega volunteered in Murphy’s middle school classroom and at statewide conferences for youth. From Murphy he learned that “you can go above and beyond the test and still have these enriching and engaging liberal arts types of curriculums.”
Then, at a statewide conference, he had his epiphany.
“I’ve never had such a euphoric feeling as seeing the growth of sixth graders within just three days of a conference. Hearing them go from talking about sixth-grade things to talking about issues in the world at large…It was at that moment that I knew that teaching is what I had to do,” Lega recalled.
Selected by Teach for America to work in a low-income area in Indianapolis, the religion major and international affairs minor was daunted at first by the idea of being a social studies and science teacher. But he realized how Transy had prepared him to quickly tackle new subject matter “all while creating my own curriculum from scratch,” he adds.
“The liberal arts allowed me to understand foreign concepts in a way that I could process and learn in a relatively short amount of time,” Lega said.
“My goal is to go in and build up this culture of wanting to be in school. What can I do to get the kids engaged?”
Lega wants to reach his students using the same tools and strategies that he experienced at Transy.
“I’m wondering how much of a humanities and liberal arts approach I can take with my sixth-grade social studies and science students, where it’s not just reading out of textbooks each day.” He wants to invite professionals in from the community, “not only for the students to build trust in the community, but for them to see the real-life applications of what they learn in class.”
This month, Lega’s story is being shared with Transy’s alumni and donors through the university’s year-end appeal. The recent graduate has a special word of thanks for those who, through their donations, made his education possible.
“Thank you for the phenomenal opportunities that you’ve given me to succeed and grow into the person that I am today. And thank you for your commitment to continuously helping Transy become greater,” Lega said.
“Choosing to go to Transy has been the best decision of my life, by far. I will always give back to Transy. It won’t be much for quite a few years, but it’s important to get into the habit of giving as soon as possible.”
For 238 years, alumni, parents and friends of Transylvania have supported the next generation of Pioneers. To give to the Annual Fund before Dec. 28, go to Transy.edu/giving or call (800) 487-2679.