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Education Department Hosts Student Teacher Reception

Teaching Licensure Candidates Recognized for Milestone of Successful Student Teaching Experience

April 12, 2012

WC senior Jimmy Rhoades chats with Blanca Aldredge, his student teacher adviser, and Michele Beery, associate professor of education and area coordinator, during the reception honoring the Class of 2012's teaching licensure candidates that engaged in student teaching this spring. He did his student teaching at Hillsboro Elementary School.

WC senior Jimmy Rhoades chats with Blanca Aldredge, his student teacher adviser, and Michele Beery, associate professor of education and area coordinator, during the reception honoring the Class of 2012's teaching licensure candidates that engaged in student teaching this spring. He did his student teaching at Hillsboro Elementary School.

Michele Beery told a gathering of Wilmington College’s graduating education majors that 2012 presents a challenging time to be a teacher, but she believes they will “step up” to meet the challenge.

Beery, associate professor of education and area coordinator, said they should be confident in their academic preparation complemented by their just-completed student teaching field experience.

“Use your creativity, compassion and hard work ethic to meet these challenges,” she said.

The Education Department held a reception honoring this spring’s successful student teachers — now officially known as licensure candidates — and recognizing their cooperating teachers, principals, superintendents and WC’s field experience personnel.

“Although you’re graduating in a few weeks and moving on, we want you to know we are still here for you,” Beery said about the department’s faculty and staff. “You are ours and we are yours.”

Martha Hendricks, interim associate vice president for academic affairs, complemented the student teachers for their successful classroom experience.

“These last 12 weeks were the most exciting time — everything you learned in the classroom was on display,” she said.

Many students commented on how meaningful and insightful the experience was in self-discovery, and how actually teaching in a classroom reinforced their career ambitions.

One student said, “It was the best experience. I told the kids I can’t wait to come back and visit them,” while another noted, “”I think sometimes I learned more than the kids did — it was such a profound experience.”

“Kindergarten is a whole new world and I had a wonderful experience,” a student commended. “I was really sad to see it end.”

Ann Aaronson, director of field placement, made a special point of thanking the cooperating teachers that allowed college students to test their skills in their classrooms. She gave each a gift bag with several items that included, among other things, a $100,000 candy bar, a candle and a magic marker.

“You cooperating teachers are worth $100,000 and the candle represents the torch you are passing on to these future teachers and the marker represents the ‘permanent and indelible mark’ you have made on these student teachers.”

Indeed, a number of the students lauded their cooperating teachers for facilitating such a rich field experience.

One said, “My cooperating teacher helped me with classroom management — she help build up my confidence as a teacher,” while another noted, “She was encouraging and helped me grow.”

“She was incredibly helpful to me and made this an especially meaningful experience,” another mentioned.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor, whom I now consider as a friend.”