My name is Sarah Sams I am currently student teaching in second grade in Williamsburg James City County. Student teaching has brought a whole new level of excitement and readiness to get into the classroom. I am currently seeking employment in Virginia and am eager to get into my first classroom. I have to say that the thing that I will take with me in the classroom is the passion and dedication that Dr. Newton showed to all of her students.
As soon as Dr. Newton arrived to JMU she was dedicated to providing students any assistance that she could possibly provide. She bent over backwards trying to ensure that we had the best experience that we did in our program. I always knew I could turn to her with concerns, questions and positive feedback. My goal as a first year teacher is to be that educator for my students. I believe that in order to be an effective teacher you do not only need to know the content but you also need to know your students. Your students need to know that they are safe with you and they can rely on you in order to reach their full potential.
I have seen even in my practicum placement how students positively respond when they feel that they are valued and cared for. I want to be that educator that students feel safe with and my ultimate goal is to provide the feeling that Dr. Newton gave me throughout my time at JMU. I am eager and excited to get into my classroom.
My name is Rebecca Henderson and I completed my degree August 2012 and the two professors who have influenced my teaching style the most are Laura Deportes (classroom management, behavior supports) and Allison Kretlow (reading). I am looking forward to moving into the special education realm of education within the next few years. My long term goal is to work with individuals with disabilities and to bridge the sports gap between them and their non-disabled peers.
My name is Jessica Naylor and am so excited to be offered a position teaching with King and Queen County Public Schools. I appreciate so much that Dr. Desportes wrote me a letter of recommendation and supported me through the whole process.
My name is Kelly Mertz and I am a graduate student in the Inclusive Early Childhood Education program. I am currently student teaching in Vienna, Virginia in a second grade classroom and I am unsure of where I will be next year. I switched into the Education Program at the end of my freshman year because I had been unsure if Education was really what I wanted to do or not. After having Dr. Newton as my professor, I was sure that I had picked the right program for me. Because Dr. Newton could see that I was confused about what I wanted to do in teaching, she took me to many different schools and a variety of different classrooms. She opened my eyes to new experiences and challenged me to try new things. I am so grateful to her for not only being a strong teacher in the classroom, but also being a positive and inspirational mentor to me. Her courage and determination showed me the importance of always believing in and challenging your students to always do their best. I now know that I chose the right program and I am doing exactly what I was meant to do. I owe this realization to Dr. Newton and her determination to guide me through my time at James Madison. She will always be a positive role model in my life and I will continue to push myself to be the teacher that she knows I am.
Lauren Smick, a 2011 SPED MAT Major: I can remember getting excited in college about the thought of having my own classroom someday and all the fun things I would do and create. Today, I spent the morning in my now classroom and the excitement is still as fresh. I remember all of my professors fostering this excitement and challenging us to think about what it was going to be like. Now that I know what classroom life is like it is not what I thought at all, but it is even better!
JMU instilled in me that every student has something to offer the world and it is my job to highlight that. JMU taught me to be relatable to my students and each and every day I strive to give them everything they deserve.
There is a lot of talk in the education world about teacher preparatory programs. I can confidently say that JMU prepared me for the classroom. I felt like I can handle what comes my way and even when I didn't there were professors to email and ask their opinion. I am honored every day to say I am a JMU teacher.