Laurens School District’s Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Satterwhite told Presbyterian College graduating education majors to enter their classrooms this fall with the word, “Believe,” engrained in their memory.
“I want you to remember to be ‘Bold’… take risks and take your students on adventures. This is not easy and may require you to challenge yourself and your students. I encourage you to find strong leaders within your schools to mentor you through your first years. Seek them out and don’t be afraid to ask for help or suggestions. Hopefully, you will find a place like I have in Joanna in which we can all work together and support one another.
“Second, you need to ‘Embrace’ each and every one of your students. When you “Embrace” your students you are holding them in your arms for the unique individual they are, no matter their cultural background, socio-economic status, or life’s struggles that have been thrown their way,” Satterwhite said.
“Next, you must be a ‘Leader’ and show your students how to become our future “Leaders.” These children we teach are our future and we must show them how to lead. Create opportunities for your students to work with one another and problem solve. One day, our lives will be in their hands and they must take the lead, therefore, it is our responsibility to show them how to become leaders. Also, take the opportunity to be a leader within your school. Reflect constantly about what you are doing. This is what good teachers and leaders do.
“Fourth, you need to “Inspire” our children. For some of the students we teach we may be their only inspiration. … Fifth, provide an “Environment” in which students are nurtured, feel safe, comfortable, and are respected. It is our responsibility to provide an atmosphere that allows each of these unique individuals to grow and mature emotionally, physically, intellectually, and socially,” said Satterwhite.
“The V means that you should “Value” your students. What I mean by this is that you need to hold your students near and dear to you. They need to know how much they mean to you, otherwise, you would not be in this profession. No amount of money can be placed on them, which shows how much they mean to us. No matter where they come from, what struggles they face at home, they need to know that you believe in them so they can believe in themselves. This reminds me of a quote by Carol Buchner, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
“Last, you must bring “Energy” to the classroom. These children are full of charisma and are attracted to energy. When they see you full of energy, they will blossom and grow. Think of how Thomas Edison has provided us with power plants. Without his invention, where would we be? Where will our children be without the energy and excitement that we must bring to the classroom each and every day? This may not always be easy and you will face challenges along the way, but you need to be the light that shines in the children’s lives that you teach.
Among students inducted were South Carolina residents Camille Bryson Watts of Mountville, Sara Taylor Morgan of Rock Hill, Brittany Leigh Reese of Greer, Emily Larkin Rogers of Chapin and Brenda Abigail Sease of Newberry.
Others included Leslie Carol Aiken of Easley, Elizabeth Anne Derrick of Little Mountain, Kaytie Elizabeth Donald of Cowpens, Audrey Joy Johnson of Charleston, Aaron Ross Mayes of Blythewood, JoAnna Geyer Smith of Allendale, Sherece Alexandria Smith of Clemson, Meagan Christine Snyder of North Augusta, and Andrew Baron William of Townville.
North Carolina residents inducted were Lucia Maria Leahy of Charlotte,
Karlyn Marie Taylor of Fairview and Rachel Virginia Powell of Whiteville.
Also inducted were Brittany Marie Whitson of Conyers, Ga., Kelsey Laine Rupsch of Libertyville, Ill. and Nora Argaiz-Gil of Logrono, Spain.
Founded in 1880, Presbyterian College is a Carnegie One liberal arts college and is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The institution confers B.A. and B.S. degrees in 32 courses of study and nine pre-professional programs including pre-law, pre-med, pre-pharmacy and pre-theological. The PC School of Pharmacy will award the doctor of pharmacy degree to its inaugural class on May 10. The PCSP is in the process of gaining full accreditation status from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. For more information, visit www.presby.edu.