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25 New Licensure Candidates Complete Field Experience

Education Department Hosts Student Teacher Reception

April 19, 2013

James Attinger, a graduating mathematics education major from Fayetteville, chats with his cooperating teachers from Wilmington High School, John Gray (left) and Jeff Wiederhold, and Michele Beery, professor of education and area coordinator at WC, during the Student Teacher Reception.

James Attinger, a graduating mathematics education major from Fayetteville, chats with his cooperating teachers from Wilmington High School, John Gray (left) and Jeff Wiederhold, and Michele Beery, professor of education and area coordinator at WC, during the Student Teacher Reception.

Wilmington College President Jim Reynolds offered advice to graduating teacher education students that are on the threshold of joining what he described as “an incredibly noble profession.”

“It’s important you know the service you provide makes a real difference,” he said. “There will be days that are incredibly joyful and days when you must persevere — but know that what you will do for students is so meaningful and gratifying.”

The president spoke Wednesday (April 17) at the Education Department’s reception honoring this spring’s 25 successful student teachers — now officially known as licensure candidates — and recognizing their cooperating teachers, principals, superintendents and WC’s field experience personnel.

“You’ve claimed this profession,” he added. “We’ll be watching with pride as you go out into your communities.”

Michele Beery, professor of education and area coordinator, told the soon-to-be graduates that 2013 presents a challenging time to be a teacher, but she believes they will “step up” to meet the challenge.
Beery 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.

Student teaching proved to be a profound experience for many of the licensure candidates, as evidenced by comments they and their cooperating teachers made at the reception.

One student said the opportunity to student-teach “validates why I wanted to be a teacher — it’s the relationship with students,” while another noted, “I had a great time in the first grade. I could not have asked for a better student teaching experience. The kids were so sweet.”

Many cooperating teachers praised their protégés after witnessing a transformation from student to paraprofessional.

“She was so capable and seemed like an experienced teacher. I trusted her with my students from the start,” said one. Another hoped her school district would hire her student teacher: “What an outstanding, fantastic student teacher! I would be honored to work with her next year — I am extremely impressed.”

Another cooperating teacher said, “I have the best job in the world as a teacher and it was an honor to work with a student like her— creativity just oozes out of her when she works with children.”

Many student teachers also praised their cooperating teachers as mentors.

“She helped me grow as a teacher,” said one, while another mentioned, “He showed me you can have fun with your kids and teach them at the same time — I learned so much from him.”

Yet another noted that her cooperating teacher used “everything I was taught in every single course” at WC. “When I saw that, I recalled everything I learned in class — the theory and practice came together in a remarkable way.” Also, “She’s the kind of teacher I want to be. I learned so much about myself. I miss the kids. Every day since I finished, I’ve wanted to go back to school.”

A cooperating teacher said her student teacher was “one of the best I’ve ever had, her rapport with the kids was amazing — Wilmington College, way to go!”

Also at the reception, the College recognized James A. Luck upon his retirement as a field experience supervisor for the last 20 years and for his 50 years as an educator.

Luck, a 1963 WC graduate, was elementary school principal with East Clinton Schools for some 27 years, in addition to serving as a middle school teacher, administrator and adjunct professor at WC during his half century in education.