Midland College (MC) professor Betty Ann Clements has been teaching since she was
a little girl.
“I have a large family, and I would sit my brothers and sisters down and force them
to be my students whether they liked it or not,” said Clements laughing at the memory.
“I created schoolbooks with lessons. I gave my siblings paper and pencils, and I would
make them raise their hands to talk and answer questions. I knew very early on that
teaching was my passion. Interestingly, my life has led me down that road.”
Clements has now been teaching higher education for 16 years. She started at MC in
“I came to MC after working at a college in Atlanta,” said Clements. “I wanted to
teach at a diverse school, and I was interested in relocating to Texas. I decided
MC was the place for me, and it has been a blessing.”
Clements teaches Business & Professional Communication and Public Speaking. If the
thought of speaking in front of a group of people has your palms sweating as you read
this, Clements says you are not alone.
“I am always reminding students before speeches that the apprehension they feel, that
anxiety is normal,” explained Clements. “Public speaking is continuously ranked among
the top human fears. I am always trying to create an environment where students can
come to class and learn while also being able to relax. I always tell students that
preparation is key. Prepare and practice for anything new. Practice and preparation
will give you the confidence you need to do well. Students are going to need the skills
they learn in my class no matter what career path they choose. We all use communication
and public speaking on a daily basis.”
Clements has heard students speak about a wide variety of issues, including time management,
euthanasia, global warming, acupuncture and sex trafficking.
“The beauty of being a speech teacher is you get to hear so many different topics,”
said Clements. “I learn so many things that I have not had time to read about. Instead,
I get a chance to learn about them from my students in class. Students motivate me
to be the best teacher I can be. In turn, I motivate them to be the best students
they can be.”
Clements works hard to make her students feel supported. She believes her class is
a family, so she encourages them to work together to help others feel like they can
accomplish any assignment.
“I am here to help students succeed; I constantly show them I care about them,” stated
Clements. “I remind them in every class: ‘I am going to help you; I am concerned about
you; I want you to go farther in life than I have gone.’ I want the best for them.”
Clements is one of the most genuine and giving professors on campus. Students have
access to her cell phone number and can meet with her during office hours, on the
lawn or in the hallway. She is happy when students reach out to her.
“I encouraged a student a while back who was overwhelmed, and I am happy to say she
persevered with school even though she said many times she wanted to quit,” said Clements.
“She was juggling family, work and school. She stopped by my office a couple of times
asking ‘How am I going to do this?’ and I would tell her, ‘You can do it, do not quit,
I know you are going to have to push yourself even harder, but if you can complete
it right now, bigger and better things are waiting for you.’”
Clements graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisiana
at Monroe. She earned a second master’s degree from Fort Valley State in Georgia,
and she is currently working on a doctorate degree. She says if you are interested
in becoming a teacher, start by embracing diversity.
“If teaching is your ultimate goal, the journey starts just with reading and preparing
yourself,” explained Clements. “Listen to the news; stay abreast of current events;
learn about what is happening in our environment. Understand you are going to have
students from all different backgrounds with a lot of different experiences that have
shaped them. Just be willing to work with students where they are. Know that if you
can meet them where they are, then you can bring them where they need to be.”
Clements has taught at many different colleges, but she says MC is special.
“Here at MC we have a dynamic way of embracing students and reaching out to our students,”
said Clements. “I believe I have awesome colleagues and one of the things I see across
campus is how far we reach out. We literally bend over backwards to help our students.
We have the desire to see our students succeed. We go the extra mile.”