The School of Education at SUNY New Paltz invited faculty, friends and family members to a Dec. 20 ceremony honoring students who successfully completed all student teaching requirements this fall.
“I would like to take this time to congratulate each and every one of you, for completing the most influential, and stressful, semester of your educational careers. You should be extremely proud of your hard work and your dedication to the field,” said Keynote Speaker Erin Mullan ’18 ’19g (Second Language Education), a recent School of Education alumna now employed in the Monroe-Woodbury School District.
Student teaching is a core capstone field experience of the teacher preparation programs offered at SUNY New Paltz. It is a full-time commitment with placements in multiple settings, which calls on teacher candidates to devote themselves fully to their craft, their classrooms, and their students, as they prepare for rewarding careers as educators and community leaders.
“As a recent graduate, I know the feeling of being overwhelmed and unsure what to do next, but I’m here to tell you that there is light at the end the tunnel. You’re about to begin one of the most exciting times of your life,” Mullen said.
The Celebration of Student Teachers ceremony offers graduates-to-be, and their friends and loved ones, a valuable opportunity to reflect on their goals and the broader educational mission to which they subscribe.
At this year’s event, Irene Watts-Politza, lecturer in clinical practice in the Department of Teaching & Learning, offered a few remarks encouraging these teacher candidates to remember all the reasons why they chose this career path.
“I like to talk about teaching through the framework of kindness,” Watts-Politza said. “A great teacher shows her kindness by the way she treats little people. Even when you’re rushed, you’re tired, you had an exam last night and your students come rushing at you in the morning, it’s still important to treat the children with kindness. You show your greatness by how you treat people who can’t help themselves.”
Visit the Office of Field Experiences to learn more about how student teaching works at SUNY New Paltz, and check in with the School of Education for info about programs in teaching, educational administration, and more.