By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Education students entering their junior year were recognized as teacher candidates during a special event at Richard K. Stem Concert Hall on Friday, August 25.
The Induction to Teacher Education Ceremony is a bi-annual gathering that honors the students’ completion of general education requirements and transition into the more specialized demands of teacher education, which will include coursework as well as additional and more intensive clinical experiences.
After a welcome from Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace, who affirmed the values and importance of education for both individuals and the community, Dr. Doyin Coker-Kolo, dean of the School of Education, amplified the special qualifications demonstrated by teacher candidates.
“You use what you have learned in your coursework in foundations of education, human development, psychology and technology to understand how children learn and grow, why support for public education is so critical to the future of our country, and your moral responsibility as teachers to bring all of your students to high levels of learning.”
In all 56 students from elementary, secondary and special education programs received lanyards, ID phone cases and enthusiastic congratulations on stage from School of Education faculty coordinators.
“These are the best of the best,” said Debi Mink, associate professor of education and coordinator of elementary education, referring to the students, who have demonstrated excellence in testing and coursework in advancing to the status of teacher candidates.
At this level, known as block one, the students will focus on pedagogical theory, childhood development and the child as learner, before exploring different content areas. In their senior year, the students will complete block three, consisting of instruction in more substantive classroom interventions, before venturing out into the world of student teaching, known as block four.
It is a progression that imbues the students with required “dispositions,” or the commitment to the profession as reflected in attitudes and behaviors. It is not enough to master technical aspects of the practice of teaching, as Coker-Kolo emphasized. Teacher candidates must also come to exemplify the ethical norms and values of their profession, commit to diversity, exhibit a dedication to professional standards, demonstrate respect for the teaching profession and, most importantly, reflect in their work and presentation the belief that all children can learn.
In recognizing achievement, Coker-Kolo also acknowledged the challenges of the career in the current climate. All the more reason to look within, she said, in order to find the self-awareness and passion that can fuel long-term success.
“Teaching is for those who love to learn, who gain the knowledge and skills in the content subject matter and enjoy the teaching discipline, and who have a deep sense of caring, understanding and a desire to make a difference in the lives of all your students,” Coker-Kolo said. “We want our graduates to have the competence, confidence and commitment to make a long and rewarding career out of teaching and to be a blessing to the many children and youth which whom they will work.”
Homepage photo: Callie Manias, Jenna French and Carrianne Troncin are recognized as teacher candidates.