Education majors inducted into the teaching profession

Education majors inducted into the teaching profession

Ten education majors officially became teachers during the Teacher Induction Ceremony in Edmunds Hall on Friday, May 14.

The graduating seniors took the Oath for Graduating Educators and received their initiation cords during the event. Ryan Caughman, a Clinton High School teacher and the 2021 Laurens District 56 Teacher of the Year, served as the guest speaker.

PC’s 10 education majors inducted into the teaching profession include:

  • Shelby Allan, Ladson, S.C.
  • Samantha Calais, Irmo, S.C.
  • Lexi Dickerson, Laurens, S.C.
  • Vanessa Huerta, Gray-Court, S.C.
  • Jamie Huffman, Belton, S.C.
  • Morgan Hutchison, Athens, Tenn.
  • Skylar Leopard, Joanna, S.C.
  • Carlee Longshore, Prosperity, S.C.
  • Emily Pierson (Madison), Roebuck, S.C.
  • Alexandra Pouch, Greenville, S.C.

A “Noble Profession”

Caughman spoke to the new teachers about “one of the most noble professions a person can enter in this life.” He focused on items he said he wished someone would have told him when he began his teaching career.

“What makes this first year so tough is that in many cases you are having to create almost everything,” he said. “I always say that it is much easier to tweak your lesson plans and activities than to create.

“Just know as you go through that first year that it will only get easier as you go. As long as you work hard you will have good quality plans to tweak in years to come. Also, don’t be hesitant to ask for help when you need it. You will have colleagues all around you that are willing to help.”

“Be Real”

Caughman also shared three qualities common to effective teachers.

“The first quality is transparency,” Caughman said. “Another way to say this is to just be ‘real.’”

Caughman said that students can tell if a teacher isn’t “being real” with them.

“It is important for teachers to show students that even though you are their teacher, you are a real person,” he said. “It is okay to be vulnerable and show them that you have things you struggle with also.”

When teaching economics, Caughman spends time focusing on personal economic decisions. He talks to his students about the mistakes he made regarding money and other life decisions.

“I remind them everyone learns from his own mistakes,” he said, “but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”

Be Relevant

Caughman says that effective teachers also let students know that what they”re learning is relevant to them. He admits that communicating relevance sometimes takes more creativity but is a “must” if teachers want students to learn the information.

Caughman said that showing students that the content in economics classes is relevant to them is easier than in U.S. history classes, but he still does so.

“I try to get the students to understand that we can find numerous examples in history of life skills that we still need today,” he said.

“History provides unlimited opportunities to teach things like perseverance, patience, discipline, and determination. Always look for ways to bring your content alive for the students in ways to make it applicable.”

Be Positive

Caughman also said that effective teachers always have a positive mindset.

“There will be many days in the teaching profession where you may not ‘feel’ like being positive due to factors such as student apathy, a bad day at home, or any outside influence,” he said.

“You have to remember that you can’t go with your feelings. For many students, you may be the only positive influence they have in their life.”

Caughman shares a positive quote or short story every day with his students.

“I have had numerous students and parents come to me and tell me the positive announcements really help them get their day started right,” he said.

Positive gestures like this is what earned Caughman Clinton High School’s Class of 2020 vote as the most inspirational teacher at Clinton High School.

“I teach economics and personal finance,” Caughman said. “We talk a lot about investing in mutual funds, but I always tell the students that the most important investment they can make is always going to be in the lives of others.

“You are going to be a part of a profession that will allow you to do that on a daily basis. Even when you have the days when you go home and feel like nothing positive happened, choose to stay the course knowing that you are making a difference.”