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New PSU grads ready to begin teaching careers - KOAM TV 7

New PSU grads ready to begin teaching careers

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New teacher-to-be, Ryan Pittsenbarger, with his cooperating teacher, Alicia Shorter. (Photo courtesy of Pittsburg State University) New teacher-to-be, Ryan Pittsenbarger, with his cooperating teacher, Alicia Shorter. (Photo courtesy of Pittsburg State University)
Graduating students take the Teacher's Oath at Pittsburg State University, Monday. (Photo courtesy of Pittsburg State University Graduating students take the Teacher's Oath at Pittsburg State University, Monday. (Photo courtesy of Pittsburg State University

News release from Pittsburg State University:

Nearly 90 new teachers took the Teacher's Oath atPittsburg State University on Monday. As their names were called and theywalked across the stage to receive their medallions, many, like RyanPittsenbarger, were anticipating their first day with students.

Pittsenbarger, an early/late childhood major fromLamar, Mo., said he accepted a job offer from the Liberty (Mo.) school districton Friday. Pittsenbarger doesn't know what grade he'll be teaching. He said hewill meet with district officials soon to see where he'll be assigned.

Pittsenbarger said his cooperating teacher, AliciaShorter, a second-grade teacher in Carl Junction, Mo., is responsible for himlanding his first job.

"It was the best experience I think I could haveimagined," Pittsenbarger said of being a student teacher under Shorter. "Ilearned so much!"

And when it came time for the important jobinterview with Liberty officials, Pittsenbarger drew on his experience.

"Everything I said in that interview, I learned fromher," Pittsenbarger said.

Glenn Coltharp, vice president of academic affairsat Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., shared some words of advice with the newcrop of teachers. He told them to ask themselves six questions every day asthey drive home from work:

The first three, Coltharp said, are, "What wentright? What went wrong? What do I need to change?"

The second three, he said, are, "Who did I connectwith? Who did I not connect with? Who do I need to make a point to connect withtomorrow?"

To illustrate the power of those connections,Coltharp told a personal story of a kindergartner in his first classroom withwhom he built a strong bond. The boy moved before the end of the school yearand Coltharp never saw him again. Recently, more than 30 years later, the boy,who is now a successful artist, called his former teacher. He told Coltharpthat other than his mother, Coltharp was the only person who ever believed inhim unconditionally.

"Think of the impact you have on students,"Coltharp told the graduates.

After Coltharp's remarks, the new teachers recitedthe Teacher's Oath, which reiterated many of the speaker's themes.

The oath concluded with these words:

"I will remember that I do not teach a lesson planor a reading deficiency, but a human being, whose skills may affect theperson's future family and economic stability. My efforts will aim to teach thewhole child, and help that child develop in mind and spirit.

"May I always act so as to preserve the finesttraditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of teaching thosewho seek my help.

"I will be a competent, committed, caringprofessional throughout my career."

Commencement for graduates in the College ofEducation is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, in the Weede PhysicalEducation Building. For commencement information visit the PSU website, www.pittstate.edu, and click on theCommencement link.

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