Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

WCE Hosts Spring Partnership Teacher Celebration

Monday, May 04, 2015

160 partnership teachers and student interns joined university supervisors and staff at the Watson College on April 19 for a celebration dinner hosted by WCE's Professional Development System (PDS) Office.

During opening remarks Dean Kenneth Teitelbaum thanked WCE's Partnership Teachers for "your contributions to our interns, and by extension, our teacher education programs."

After sharing sobering statistics on the decline in enrollments in undergraduate teacher education programs at the local and national level, he asked teachers to partner with the college in sharing with others the message that teaching is a great profession for young people and career changers who want to make a difference.

"Teaching is above all a profession of hope," Teitelbaum said. "Events like tonight help to bring us together with renewed hope for the future of our interns and our teaching profession."

WCE associate professor Candace Thompson delivered a passionate presentation entitled, "Weavers, Warriors & Firestarters: A Celebration of Teachers and Teaching." She spoke with pride of teaching as a profession of lifelong learning and mentoring.

Thompson quoted Webster's definition of apprentice: a person who learns a job or skill by working for a fixed period of time for someone who is very good at that job or skill. She thanked WCE's partnership teachers for providing apprenticeships for WCE interns "whose legs may still be a little shaky."

"I like to think of the PDS partnership dinner as a wonderful celebration of teachers along the continuum of experience," she said.

Morgan Walker was nominated by university supervisors to speak at the event. Morgan '13 has a B.S. in marine biology from UNCW and earned a MAT in secondary education from the Watson College in May. She taught honors oceanography while completing an internship with partnership teacher Sandie Cecelski at Ashley High School this spring, and is currently working as an interim biology teacher at Ashley.

Pdscelebrate1Merla Jansen Receives Roy E. Harkin Teacher Recognition Award

Merla Jansen, a teacher in the daily living adapted curriculum classroom at Topsail Elementary School, received the spring 2015 Roy E. Harkin Teacher Recognition Award for excellence as a partnership teacher. The award was established in 2008 in memory of Dr. Roy E. Harkin, who served as the chair of the Education Department at UNCW from 1976 to 1979 and as Dean of the School of Education until 1991.

Jansen was nominated for the award by special education professor Linda Mechling, who said Jansen is a highly valued PDS partner and wonderful supervisor for students enrolled in WCE's Special Education Adapted Curriculum program.

In addition to hosting 235 student interns during the spring semester, WCE partnership teachers helped PDS director Somer Lewis and Professional Experiences director Cindy Wiseman provide 1,833 field experiences for Watson College students.