RU sends future educators to Teachers of Promise
Six Radford University education majors recently attended the 11th Annual Teachers of Promise Institute on March 23-24 in Richmond.
Teachers of Promise are student interns who meet high academic standards, have strong leadership and communication skills and excel in student teaching and as first-year teachers.
The Teachers of Promise Institute, held this year on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, annually brings together exceptional students from more than 30 of Virginia’s college and university schools of education and dozens of master educators for a two-day celebration and professional development event.
Each year, the College of Education and Human Development selects for the institute seniors and graduate students who exhibit a strong commitment to the teaching profession and exemplify traits necessary for an exemplary career in public education.
RU students are selected from the academic areas of Physical and Health Education within the Department of Health and Human Performance and the early childhood, elementary education, middle education, secondary education and special education in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership (STEL).
"We look for pre-service teachers who are excited, who want to learn more and who would benefit the most from a weekend like this," said STEL Associate Professor Kevin LoPresto, who accompanied the students to Teachers of Promise. LoPresto noted that the selected candidates must be "academically strong, very good in field experience, well spoken, outgoing and positive."
RU representatives were Kayleigh Bernick (mathematics, secondary education) from Pittsburgh, Lauren Farmer (middle school education) from Moneta, Andrea Guynn (graduate student in special education: general and adaptive curriculum) from Pearisburg, Allison Hinke (graduate student in student early childhood/early childhood special education) from Leesburg, Katelyn Leitner (elementary education) from Pearisburg, and Alayna Versage (physical and health education) from Virginia Beach.
While at the institute, students spent much of their time in groups, attending education sessions and workshops with a mentor. Teachers, principals and administrators from numerous Virginia public schools served as mentors. "Just being in their presence made me more excited about my future career," Bernick said.
Farmer shared the sentiment. "It was amazing to be in the presence of others who are as excited to teach young people for the rest of their lives as I am," she said. "I was given a lot of good advice, and had a lot to take home with me."
The participating students also attended a dinner and celebration on opening night, where they received a Teachers of Promise certificate and pin. "The Teachers of Promise organizers make the students feel like superstars, which they are," LoPresto said. "This my fourth year in a row attending the event, and I still get chills when I see all they do and how much they pump up teachers and teaching."
Bernick said the Teachers of Promise experience was "phenomenal" and one she will remember for a lifetime. "The lessons I learned and the stories I heard here, I will carry with me forever," she said. "I can only hope to one day be as amazing of a teacher as all the educators in attendance were. They truly are people who change the world, one student at a time."