Marc Kerby, '21, M.Ed.

Marc Kerby teaching at Heartland Christian School

Tell us about yourself:

I am married to my high school sweetheart, Kara. We've been married 22 years. We have three kids: Cole (20), Sofie (15) and Max (11). This past year was crazy. My wife went back to school to finish her associate's degree and my oldest son started his sophomore year of college. The entire family was in school! 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the Kansas City area (Pleasant Hill). In fact, we bought a house on the street my wife grew up on.

Where are you teaching?

I'm currently teaching at Heartland Christian School in Belton, Missouri. I teach part-time in the mornings. I teach Bible to 7-8th grades; Algebra 2 to freshmen; Geometry to 11-12 grades; and Physical Science to 9-10th grades. 

Why did you choose a Rockhurst Masters of Education?

I had two friends that highly recommended the program. One of those friends started as an acquaintance but has become a pretty good friend. I called and asked him a bunch of questions about how hard the program would be as an adult with three kids and a busy life. He assured me that he was never too stressed and that Rockhurst's program was very manageable. My other friend told me that the program has a wonderful reputation and that school districts are always ready to hire Rockhurst graduates because they come out of school actually prepared to do the job! Rockhurst's program was the quickest path for someone like me (with a bachelor's degree not in the teaching field) to get into the teaching field.

You received an Arrupe Service-Learning Award from Rockhurst because of your “initiatives and leadership while taking the Technology and Education Service-Learning course.” What kind of initiatives and what was the motivation behind them?

Last year when I was completing my service, we had severe weather for 3-4 weeks in a row. School was canceled, which meant that the STEAM Studio was canceled. Dr. Sonnenberg told me that she wouldn't hold the weather against me and that I could count the hours. I asked to fulfill the hours because, despite the weather, I wanted to get the most out of the experience and I wanted to see first-hand what STEAM was all about! I'm glad I did because I got to watch as science and technology were used by elementary-age children to modify a toy car for a child with special needs. Watching the kids do something to serve others was an amazing opportunity!

What are your career goals and how is Rockhurst helping make those possible?

My goal is to be an elementary school teacher. I would say that I am aiming to work in 6th grade but I enjoy working with all ages. I will miss teaching the middle and high school grades that I currently work with. Rockhurst has exposed me to different types of schools and ages. Rockhurst provides numerous opportunities for the M.Ed. students to get out of the classroom and interact with students. We are required to complete classroom observations and are encouraged to interact with the students and not just be passive bystanders. This spring I took a Literacy Practicum class and it was the most helpful class. We got to design and implement reading strategies with students. Activities like that are preparing me so that I feel competent when I step into an elementary classroom.

What advice would you have to others considering getting an M.Ed.?

The program is manageable. I did not look forward to going back to school when I started the program here at Rockhurst, but it's flown by. I can't believe I will already be student teaching in the fall! Be aware that there will be observation hours to complete for many of the classes you take. Make the most of these observations! See it as an opportunity to view what teaching is really like. Visit different schools and grade levels. It might help you decide which age you would like to teach. The professors are extremely helpful and understanding. They truly care about the students and want to see us succeed. The assignments will be things that are helpful and will prepare you for the classroom. I have prepared lessons that I will actually use when I enter an elementary classroom.  

Thanks, Marc!