Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
The quiet hallways of a summer campus were brought back to life on Aug. 28 as hundreds of teacher candidates from the Faculty of Education gathered for the Beginning of Program.
Having met with their faculty advisors earlier in the morning, teacher candidates from the P/J, J/I and I/S consecutive and concurrent education programs gathered in the David S. Howes Theatre for a plenary session.
As David Hutchison, Chair of the Department of Teacher Education, welcomed each group of teacher candidates, cheers, hollers and claps erupted from the audience; every student rife with pride and enthusiasm for the path they have chosen.
Fiona Blaikie, Dean of the Faculty of Education, reminded teacher candidates that the schooling they have received throughout their lives, and will one day pass on to students of their own, is something that does not globally exist.
“Education is a right,” she said, “but it is also a privilege.”
As Blaikie dispensed facts and statistics of the number of children across the globe who are not educated, her previous sentiment of education being a privilege appeared to resonate that much stronger, evident in the suddenly determined faces in the audience.
Concluding her speech, Blaikie appealed to the students’ ambitions of being difference makers to young minds.
“Your job now,” she said, “is to change lives.”
As the session progressed Hutchison spoke of developing a philosophy as a teacher and creating an environment in the classroom that reflects the personal teaching philosophy of each teacher candidate.
He acknowledged the copious amounts of advice students will receive during their studies about how to practice what they have learned and attempted to simplify things by encouraging students to think in four different ways: systematically, broadly, critically and divergently.
With one last item on the plenary’s agenda, Hutchison’s preamble to his photo essay was short and sweet.
“This photo essay is a tribute to those who taught before you,” he said. “All of you will be building on their legacy.”
And with those words, photos of early 1900s textbooks and old, rural school houses and groups of teacher and students flashed across the screen, concluding a plenary session that was as thought provoking as it was inspiring.
Along with Blaikie and Hutchison, Vice-Provost, and Associate Vice-President, Academic Greg Finn, Academic Counselor and Ombudsperson Phyllis Stanley, Teacher Education Partnership Coordinator Dorothy Buchanan, Assistant Professor Kari-Lynn Winters, Associate Professor Peter Vietgen, Associate Professor Shelley Griffin and instructor Linda Borland all addressed the teacher candidates.