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Students sign letters of intent for pursuing teaching careers

Posted: May 24, 2017 - 3:06am
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Seventeen students at Greenbrier High School signed letters of intent during the first Georgia Future Educators Signing Day.
Seventeen students at Greenbrier High School signed letters of intent during the first Georgia Future Educators Signing Day.

Two Columbia County High Schools recently took part in the first Georgia Future Educators Signing Day, an initiative through the Department of Education to encourage and bolster the pipeline of students into the education field.

Over 20 students from Greenbrier and Evans high schools signed letters of intent to become teachers, having successfully completed their CTAE educational pathway course requirements.

"It's three courses that they take, and it is an education pathway," said Dr. Judi Wilson, associate dean for the College of Education at Augusta University, who partnered with the DOE on creating the signing ceremonies. "In the state of Georgia, there are two pathways that revolve around education. One is called teaching as a profession and the other is called an early childhood education program."

The letters of intent are not binding, according to Wilson, but serve as the students' personal commitments to continue their pursuit of a teaching career. Many of the students at the signing ceremony are seniors and are already planning to fulfill those commitments when they begin college in the fall.

The signing receptions held at Greenbrier and Evans last week are a culmination of the students' completion of the educational pathway curriculum. As part of the course, the pathway students took time working with teachers and students at Greenbrier Elementary School, observing and even teaching. The students also visited the campus of Augusta University and attended a teacher conference.

"They actually came ... to our impacting student-learning conference," Wilson said. "We wanted them to participate in a professional education conference before they graduated from high school so that we could create kind of that seamless transition in the teaching profession. They spent the whole day with us. They actually got a keynote speaker all to themselves; the Georgia 2017 teacher of the year spoke to them."

During last week's signing ceremony at Greenbrier, held last week, several educational leaders offered words of encouragement.

Greenbrier Elementary School principal Mary Bridges offered words of thanks and encouragement.

"I am so grateful to you all and to all of the Greenbrier staff just for allowing you to come down," Bridges told the future teachers. "... The experiences that you all have had at our school may have influenced you one way or the other as far as elementary teaching goes, but You've made such an impression on our kids, and I appreciate that."

After the future teachers signed their letters of intent, Greenbrier High principal Chris Seagraves offered words of wisdom that he said he has learned in his 32 years as an educator.

"You're going to touch the lives of literally thousands of people if you stay in this for an entire career," Seagraves said. "And you're going to forget their names, but they're not going to forget you. And they're going to come up to you years later and thank you for the impact that you've had on their lives."

Seagraves became teary-eyed when he talked about his almost 2-year-old granddaughter, who he predicted would be taught by one of the future teachers signing letters of intent.

Wilson said the university's partnership with the school is an initiative to combat the teacher shortage expected in the future, and that she's working to be able to provide college credits for students who complete the education pathway.

"I've been working with teachers in this area for the past year, and we're trying to give course credit in college, so that when they finish this pathway they can also get three hours of college credit, which will again kind of make their time less in college and will encourage them on this pathway," Wilson said.

Wilson added that many Augusta University graduates from the educational college received multiple offers upon graduation and said quality teachers are in high demand. Wilson said she hopes the signing ceremonies start a movement to encourage quality teachers.

Wilson offered her own words of encouragement to the future teachers at the signing ceremony.

"You know in your heart if you've been called into teaching. I do believe it's a calling. I do believe that you have a passion for working with students," Wilson said. "I want to charge you to be the one ... Be the one that perseveres in the midst of challenges. Be the one that has a smile on your face in the midst of hard times.Be the one that makes a difference in students' lives."

 

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Over 20 students from

Over 20 students from Greenbrier and Evans high schools signed letters of intent to become teachers, having successfully completed their CTAE educational pathway course requirements. Exam E05-001 Braindumps