Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

Beginning Teachers Reflect, “Why Did I Become a Teacher?”

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Beginning Teachers Reflect on why they chose education

The Watson College of Education offers Promise of Leadership Awards (POLA) to beginning teachers through the First Years of Teaching Support Program coordinated by teacher in residence Somer Lewis. Award recipients are nominated by school systems and selected based on a commitment to teaching diverse learners, innovative use of technology and leadership potential.

A goal of the initiative is to provide second and third year teachers a leadership role that enhances their effectiveness in the classroom. POLA teachers, supported by WCE faculty members, plan and conduct professional development sessions for other beginning teachers during the spring semester.

On Feb. 28, nine POLA recipients shared presentations with 50 beginning teachers at a professional development event at the Watson College.

Amanda Greene, a Promise of Leadership Award winner from Williams Township Elementary School in Columbus County, teamed with Ed Lab director Brian Brinkley to coordinate a session titled, “How to be a Champion for Your Students… Even When You Don’t Feel Like It.” 

During the session, participants were asked to remind themselves of the reasons they became teachers, with answers on a display.  Most of the teachers’ answers centered on a desire to make a difference in the lives of children. The display was placed in the Education Building Atrium following the event for pre-service teachers to add thoughts. In total, 97 in-service and pre-service teachers responded to the question posed by Greene and Brinkley. A complete list can be viewed online.

Other sessions led by POLA recipients at the professional learning day in March were:

  • “Academic Centers,” by Samantha Hurley, Forest Hills Elementary School
  • “Top 10 Tips to Encourage Creativity: Using Technology with a Diverse Audience” by Wendy Turrentine, New Hanover High School
  • “Student Engagement: Promoting Active Learning,” by Eric Wall, Isaac Bear Early College High School“Dollars and Sense,” Tyler Knotts, Acme Delco Elementary School
  • “Colorful Learning - Using ‘Fun’ to Enhance Content Studies” by Hannah Evans, Kenansville Elementary School
  • “Can I Handle Collaborative Group Work?” by Brittany Damato, East Columbus High School
  • “Implementing Effective Organizational Practices,” by Mallory Bendig, Ashley High School

The next Beginning Teachers Day will be held at the Watson College April 10.  Nine additional Promise of Leadership Award recipients will facilitate sessions for beginning teachers at the event.