“This semester’s candidates were recognized for their diligence and success in completing the rigorous requirements of student teaching,” said Dr. Vickie Gentry, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, who, along with Dr. Kimberly McAlister, head of the Department of Teaching and Learning, congratulated the students.
Allison Breaux Erikson, a 2011 graduate in elementary education and a first-year teacher at M.R. Weaver Elementary School, addressed the candidates on the challenges and joys of the first year of teaching. Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Haley Blount presented candidates with NSU memorabilia and shared information about the NSU Alumni Association.
Program faculty presented each candidate with a special pin designed to represent both the teaching profession and Northwestern State University. Faculty included Dr. Sharon Joy, Dr. Greg Handel and Bill Brent with Music Education, Jo Weaver with early childhood education, Dr. Paul Nagel and Ms. Keisha Hawkins with elementary and secondary education, and Dr. Bill Dickens with health and human performance.
“Student teaching is the culminating course in all undergraduate teacher preparation programs,” Melder said. “This important undergraduate experience provides opportunities for hands-on practice in testing theoretical concepts in the real life settings of school classrooms and enables each candidate to comfortably and gradually assume all the roles and responsibilities of a fully certified teacher. Student teaching is a challenge demanding the very highest levels of moral, personal and professional commitment.”