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portrait of Alexis Naeger

Alexis Naeger

Degreed Teacher

Early Childhood Birth - Third

Graduated in 2016

Explain your career path

Right out of college I worked at Community Day School in Cape Girardeau where I was a floater and got to work in many different classrooms. After about a year I heard that Head Start in Cape Girardeau was looking for a classroom teacher who could start in two weeks. I jumped at the chance and have loved everyday.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

Early Childhood Education Birth-Third

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

It was close to home but not so close that I didn’t feel independent. SEMO is also know for its top tier education programs.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

I loved Doc. Nguyen, who unfortunately moved colleges after my time in his classes. He was the best at seeing the good in every student he had and passed that lesson on to us all.

Share your best college memory.

In one of my classes we had a project where we had to teach an easy baking lesson to the class as if they were our elementary students. All of us got really into it and started acting like some of the crazy things we’d seen students do during field work. It was hilarious and always sticks out in my mind when I think back on my classes.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help from those who have more experience than you, or your fellow students when you feel out of ideas. It really helped me a lot when I got into student teaching.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Time Well Spent

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Getting my own classroom with my own students. I absolutely love my job!

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

The time spent doing field work was invaluable. Every semester I enjoyed the new experiences and the wide range of students that I got to work with. Perfect training for Head Start where you can have a whole class of challenging cases.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

Don’t let the stresses of student teaching make you give up. Yes, teaching can be stressful, but it won’t be nearly as stressful as student teaching. If your currently looking for a job, don’t be afraid to go into different schools and ask if there is an opening face to face. It’s how I got my preschool job. It also shows confidence!

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

I wish I knew more of the preschool options for work in the area and elsewhere. That’s truly my calling and SEMO gears almost the entirety of the classes towards the public school system. That’s great! There were a few of us that wish they had more classes based on that area. The degree includes birth and preschool ages after all. We mainly had to find the preschool information ourselves if we were interested in that.


Scully 411

College of Education, Health and Human Studies
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701