From Classmates to Colleagues: Education Majors Inducted as Teachers 

From Classmates to Colleagues: Education Majors Inducted as Teachers 

Presbyterian College graduates who are entering the teaching field during their teacher induction ceremony on May 10.

Graduating education majors officially became teachers during the Teacher Induction Ceremony on Friday, May 10. The event took place in the Harrington-Peachtree Amphitheatre. 

Katie Thompson ’20, Teacher of the Year at Clinton Elementary School, was this year’s guest speaker. She remembered being in the soon-to-be graduates’ shoes. 

“This is my fourth year teaching,” she said, “and it was not long ago that I felt the same excitement and uncertainty about having my own classroom for the first time in a few short months.”

A Fresh Perspective 

Presbyterian College alumna Katie Thompson speaks to new educators at the teacher induction ceremony on May 10.

Katie Thompson ’20

Clinton Elementary SchoolThompson shared what she’s learned in the classroom in her young career, including the importance of speaking up and getting involved from the beginning. 

“It may seem a bit scary to give your opinion,” she said, “but you are just as much an important part of your school community as someone with years of experience.”

Thompson said that schools need the fresh perspective that new teachers bring. Joining committees and participating in extracurricular activities gives new teachers an opportunity to get to know fellow teachers as well as students they may not teach. 

“It can feel daunting being a new teacher in your first year,” Thompson said, “but you can really find your place in your school through getting involved.

Rely on Colleagues for Support

Thompson urged the graduating educators to ask for help when they need it and to rely on their colleagues for support. 

“It shows that you trust the people you work with and care about doing your best,” she said. 

Thompson said she often needed advice in her first year and even now on how to handle an issue with a student or a parent, or how to make a lesson more clear. 

“That’s when relying on your team of teachers comes in,”  she said. “There is a lot you can accomplish on your own, but it is really cool the impact you can make on your students and the growth you can have as a teacher when you build a relationship with the teachers you work with.”

Thompson said that great teachers always think about their practice and reach out to their colleagues for ways to improve. 

“I hope for you the same way I hope for myself to always strive for continual improvement as an educator so we can do everything we can to make an impact on the families we serve,” she said.

Let Students Know You Care

Thompson advised the graduating seniors to take the time to get to know their students, no matter how old they are. 

“There are so many unique things you can learn about your students when you spend time talking with them,” she said. “They can tell you are listening and care. Some of your students already have parents or family members that are their champions. For others, you as the teacher may be the only champion they ever have. Whether you are looking at behavior management or academics, when they know that you truly know them and believe in them, they begin to believe in themselves, and that is when they really find success.”

Advice from Elementary School Students 

After sharing her own advice, Thompson passed along advice from kindergarten, first, and second grade students from Eastside Elementary School. They shared these words of wisdom with the soon-to-be teachers:

  • Be tough sometimes, but not too strict.
  • Stop any drama.
  • Tell your class they are a family.
  • Give students candy and a fun time.
  • Great teachers keep you safe, happy, and comfortable.

The Students Take the Oath for Graduating Educators

The nine graduating education majors recited the Oath For Graduating Educators after Thompson’s address. During the ritual, the new teachers pledged to bring honor to the  teaching profession, stated their dedication to the profession, and formally accepted their “obligation to improve the general condition of humanity, their responsibility to advance knowledge and cooperation, and their duty to promote the competence of their students.”

The graduating educators include: 

  • Carrington Eron
  • Jada Goode 
  • Tania Contreras Hernandez
  • Kathleen Iacobelli
  • Beth Parris 
  • Maura Rable
  • Julie San Lucas
  • Gracen Sharp
  • Stephanie Squires 

Learn More 

Want to learn more about majoring in education at PC? Education professor Dr. Patricia Jones talks about the value of an education major in this video. Watch now >>