Nearly 30 new teachers listened intently as alumna Christine Newbury, the 2017–2018 Ocean County Teacher of the Year, delivered professional words of wisdom in a presentation aptly named “Teaching with All of Me.” The call to teach requires no less, she said.
“With your eyes, take it all in. Be an observant supporter and really see your students,” Ms. Newbury told the new teachers. “Students appreciate it when you notice them.
“You must teach with your hands,” she said. “You can read all about educational theory, but you won’t know what it means until you are hands-on…until you try it for yourself.”
The Manchester educator spoke at Georgian Court University’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning, hosted May 9 by the GCU School of Education. Twice a year, university administrators, faculty members, families, and veteran educators come out to support the new teachers. A previous celebration was held in December 2017.
New Teachers Prepared to Excel
“This is not an easy profession and the program at GCU demands your best,” said Chris Campisano, Ph.D., a visiting professor who also supervised the teacher interns as they completed dozens of hours of clinical work in local classrooms. “You have the skills and knowledge to be phenomenal in your practice.”
Other alumni speakers were Erica Dunn, a Barnegat High School teacher, and Randi Silfan, who reminded them of the many hats an educator must wear—therapist, life coach, consoling friend, and sometimes, circus ringleader.
“You must be the best version of yourself every day,” Ms. Silfan said. “Always look for the positive, and don’t take yourself too seriously. If you have fun, your kids will, too!”
Lessons in Success
Some of the new teachers were praised for their ability to engage students with creative lessons plans, their willingness to go “above and beyond,” and their impressive command of technology in the classroom.
Each of the 29 honorees received special pins from their GCU faculty mentors, who officially welcomed them to the profession.
“You’re entering a noble career where you will make a meaningful difference in a child’s life,” said Lynn DeCapua, Ph.D., ’86, dean of the School of Education.
“You encourage risk, engage minds, model kindness, and educate hearts,” she said. “It is you, the teacher, who matters most. You have the opportunity to touch lives forever. Never underestimate that.”
To view more photos of the event, visit our GCU Celebration of Learning photo album.