Student Teacher Partners with Education Professor to Present at GROW Symposium

Student Teacher Partners with Education Professor to Present at GROW Symposium

PresbytAmber Allenerian College student Amber Allen, a teacher candidate, presented a session with Dr. Julia Wilkins, PC assistant professor of education, at Newberry College’s GROW Symposium, a professional development day hosted by the RETAIN Center of Excellence at Newberry College.

The GROW Symposium is open to senior education students from local colleges and is designed to jump start students into the practice of professional development as new teachers and provide useful information that will assist them during their internship and first year. It is also a great opportunity for South Carolina education students to collaborate and start building relationships with other first-year teachers.

Even though Allen is a student teacher, she saw the opportunity to present at a symposium for future teachers. “I have learned so much from my practicum and student teaching experiences in local schools. I really felt that I needed to share some of the positive experiences I have had and help future teachers learn that there are some very easy things you can do to build positive relationships with students, and those relationships can go a long way to increasing students’ chances of success in school,” said Allen.

Amber grew up in Greenville and chose to attend PC because of the many opportunities to become involved in activities that would help her grow as both a person and a professional. Last summer, she attended the Korean Studies Summer Program, where she spent four weeks at Hannam University learning about Korean culture. She also had the opportunity to participate in a practicum teaching experience in a local elementary school. Allen said, “That experience was one of the best experiences in my life; it opened the door for another opportunity I hadn’t even considered – teaching abroad.”

According to Wilkins, Allen embodies the type of teacher the Education Department strives to cultivate. “She possesses an excellent ability to combine knowledge of theory and practice and implement effective teaching strategies gained from her classes at PC as well as her cooperating teachers in local schools.” Wilkins continued, “Amber co-presented with me at the symposium, demonstrating two critical skills needed for today’s teachers—leadership skills and an ability to collaborate with other professionals.”

Allen looks forward to gaining her first teaching job as a middle school social studies teacher. “Like most seniors at PC, I’m just looking forward to succeeding after college and signing that contract for my first ‘real’ job.”

For more information contact Wilkins at

To learn more about the PC Education Department visit