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Not "just a teacher"
Story by Sara Wesselmann, UNI University Relations online magazine and public relations assistant
The University of Northern Iowa's biannual Teacher Education Induction Convocation honored 394 students who have satisfied requirements to be officially admitted into the UNI Teacher Education program.
"The convocation develops a sense of pride among teacher education majors," said Rip Marston, professor of physical education and leisure services, "because they know they have earned the right to be fully admitted into the Teacher Education program and are unified as future teachers."
Among the inductees are students majoring in subjects ranging from history to chemistry and elementary to early childhood education. The new inductees are looking forward to conducting their field experience and joining teachers around the world in making a difference in children's lives.
"The field of teaching has drastically changed over the years," said Deborah Tidwell, associate professor of curriculum and instruction. "These students are heading into many teaching challenges that weren't faced in years past. The complexity and demands of the field are asking much more of these future teachers and their professionalism needs to be recognized."
"Teachers have such an impact on society," said Eric Bauer, senior biology major. "I think there's a need to focus on education, especially in this day and age."
Victoria Robinson, associate professor and interim department head of educational leadership, counseling and postsecondary education, wrote "I am just a teacher," a narrative that attempts to reestablish the honor of teaching and the impact it has.
"Future teachers are going into a profession where they can make or break another human's spirit," Robinson wrote. "They must know this is a heavy role but also one so noble, so full of rewards, that no matter how many voices say 'Just a teacher,' they will smile inwardly and think, 'Those who can, teach those who can't.' I am a teacher!"