May 2, 2024

Ella Goens Brings Fresh Perspective to the Classroom

Ella Goens

PBA News

At a time when eight percent of public-school teachers have exited the profession—a trend consistent since before the pandemic, according to the December 2023 release of the Teacher Follow-Up Survey by the National Center for Education Statistics—Ella Goens stands out as a beacon of dedication and passion. Ella, from Bakersfield, California, will graduate from Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) on May 4. 2024, after pursuing dual majors in dance and elementary education. She was drawn to PBA due to its small, private Christian setting and dance program.

“I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do, but I feel like the Lord just made it clear how I could combine the desires I had in dance and then I learned about what the education department had to offer,” she said. 

Despite concerns about declining behavior in schools and unimpressive salaries, Ella is enthusiastic about her role.

“I want to show them that they are special, and they are loved,” she said, emphasizing her desire to contribute positively to her students’ lives.  

Preparing for a Promising Future in Education 

Ella aims to integrate her background in dance into her teaching to enhance engagement and learning. This strategy was explored through her senior project, which demonstrated how movement can help students retain information and enjoy learning.

“I just finished my senior dance project, which combined movement into the elementary education classroom,” she shared with excitement. “I created lesson plans and data about how movement can help students engage more, feel more excited about a lesson and retain information more.” 

Ella will be able to implement this new strategy right after graduation, having been offered a teaching position at Palm Beach Public Elementary, where she completed her first internship. This opportunity allows her to implement her unique educational approach in a third-grade classroom.

“I’m excited to integrate that into my own classroom,” Ella said. She expressed enthusiasm about returning to a place she loves and feels she can make a significant impact.  

She credits her readiness to the supportive environment at PBA—professors in both the dance and education departments—who helped her navigate the dual demands of her majors.

“The small class sizes were my favorite because I could be so personal with [my professors],” Ella recalled. She expressed gratitude for the personalized guidance that helped her maintain an impressive 4.0 GPA. 

Ella’s commitment extends beyond academic achievements; she is passionate about nurturing her students’ personal growth. Her approach to education is holistic, aiming not only to teach academic subjects but also to instill values and life skills. This blend of academic rigor and personal development encapsulates Ella’s vision for her future in education—a vision she is eager to implement in the public school system where she feels called to serve.

“I’m just excited to work with children who don’t have the opportunity to go to a private school, or who just get placed in a public school that their zip code is in,” she added. “What we talk about in the education department is not just helping them grow academically, but also helping them grow as individuals. I want to use my classroom to pour into lives. So, I’m excited to have that opportunity in a public school.” 

A Fond Farewell to College Life 

As Ella prepares to graduate, she reflects on her time at PBA, highlighting the community and the connections she made, often in unexpected places like the cafeteria. With her family coming to town to celebrate her achievements, Ella is ready to step into the next chapter of her life with confidence and excitement. As she moves forward, she carries with her the lessons and experiences from PBA, ready to inspire and educate the next generation. 

If you are interested in majoring in dance, learn more details here. You can also explore PBA’s Education department here. 

To watch PBA’s 2024 Commencement recap video, click here

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