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Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of presenting two workshops at the SPSEA Convention in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Over 200 college students gathered to discuss the future of teachers and their plans for becoming the newest educators in the schools.
I say “privilege” because that is just what it was…an opportunity to cherish. Both workshops were well attended which allowed me moments to talk with students about their plans…their dreams…and their choices they were about to make in the next few years. When I left on Saturday afternoon…I felt encouraged and also very motivated. These students had shown me that they were going to take on whatever the challenges might be.
In the field of education, all those who are involved in some way…as teachers…as administrators…as college professors and instructors…share many things in common. We continuously endure the changes and adaptations, as expected by many who are not educators. We strive to learn new strategies and methods that supposedly will help educate our students better than those did in the past. And…the very best and most dedicated constantly work to insure that their students will learn and master.
At the SPSEA Convention, I saw the same eagerness and enthusiasm among students who are preparing to be teachers as I have seen among my finest colleagues. As I sat and talked with them…some from IUP…two girls from Bloomsburg…many from Pitt and Penn State…five from Slippery Rock…and others from Cal U, Clarion, and my own college where I teach, Saint Vincent…I heard the same recurring theme. These students wanted to learn as much as they could and they wanted to be ready to take on whatever their career might bring to each of them.
I wondered…where were the television cameras now? Where were Fox News, CNN, MSNBC? Where were the people responsible for getting the news out to the many viewers and readers throughout this country? None of these were to be found…none were to hear what I was hearing from the younger generation.
As students prepare for graduation at Saint Vincent College and other colleges, may people recognize the positives that lie ahead for schools…for businesses…for hospitals…for offices…for legal firms…for political organizations…for industries. When given the opportunities, these students will be contributing members to the workforce who will help others already there.
Congratulations to all of you who have accomplished what you set out to do…I and others welcome you and look forward to the ideas and interests you will bring!