Education Students Get Hands-on Training
When students in Bluefield College’s Teacher Education Program completed their studies and graduated this past fall, they did so with more than just knowledge obtained from books and lectures.
March 6, 2014
Bluefield College fall 2013 studentteachers (from left) Laura Hrovatic, Courtney Sutphin, Emily Reynolds, Jodie Jackson, Joe Pennington, and Morgan Lloyd.
Thanks to a longstanding partnership with local secondary schools, BC’s future schoolteachers gained vital hands-on experience through a semester of student teaching mentored by current educators inside actual classroom settings.
Often described as the most rewarding aspect of teacher licensure training at Bluefield College, the student teaching component provides “in the classroom” experiences for BC senior teacher education majors, who work and learn alongside educators who have been in an actual classroom setting for many years.
“It’s a valuable opportunity for students to practically apply various theories presented in the college classroom,” said Dr. Donna Watson, dean of BC’s School of Education, which recently added a master’s degree in education to its offerings.
Six BC students completed the on-the-job training this past fall, including Laura Hrovatic of Tazewell, VA; Jodie Jackson of Vansant, VA; Morgan Lloyd of GumSpring, VA; Joseph Pennington of Bluefield, WV; Emily Reynolds of Falls Mills, VA; and Courtney Sutphin of Bluefield, VA.
They all spent the fall 2013 semester providing much needed assistance to local schools, while at the same time getting valuable practical experience as teachers in the classroom.
“The student teaching has allowed me to put what I have learned in my classes topractical use,” said Hrovatic, who completed her student teaching at Tazewell Elementary and Tazewell Middle schools. “My time at Bluefield College has prepared me, and I am truly excited to begin my teaching career.”
Hrovatic, a graduate of Tazewell High School and the wife of Marc Hrovatic, is a member of BC’s Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA). She attended Southwest Virginia Community College (SVCC) before coming to BC.
Jackson completed her student teaching at Cedar Bluff Elementary and Richlands Elementary schools. A graduate of Grundy High School and the daughter of Mark and Freda Jackson, she, too, attended SVCC before BC and is a member of SVEA. She’s also a member of Pi Lambda Theta, the national honor society for education students.
Lloyd, a graduate of Louisa County High School, completed his student teaching at Graham Middle and Graham High schools. The son of Jimmy and Julia Lloyd, he attended J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College before attending BC. At Bluefield, his is a senior senator for Student Government and vice president of Beta Chi Delta fraternity.
“The Teacher Education Program at Bluefield College has challenged me in every way to make me become a better teacher,” said Lloyd. “I am excited to be in an actual classroom teaching setting and to be able to apply what I have learned in the college classroom.”
Pennington, a graduate of Bluefield High School and the husband of Amanda Pennington, completed his student teaching at Graham High School.
“The level of care, concern and understanding that the professors in the Teacher Education Program at Bluefield College have shown has made my education experience very enjoyable,” said Pennington, “and has helped me to prepare for a career in teaching.”
Reynolds, a graduate of Graham High School and the daughter of John and Sandra Reynolds, completed her student teaching at Dudley Primary and Graham Intermediate schools. At BC, she is a member of Pi Lambda Theta and has served as president of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, president of SVEA, and junior senator for Student Government. She also was named a Teacher of Promise, a Gerald Clay Scholar, a Virginia Collegium Scholar, and an AmeriCorps Energy Express Mentor.
Sutphin, the daughter of Tammy and Don Halsey and the wife of Jeromy Sutphin, completed her student teaching at Richlands High School. A graduate of Graham High School, she attended Radford University before BC.
Bluefield College has graduated highly qualified educators, like this year’s group of student teachers, since 1977, who have become outstanding teachers and administrators in public and private schools in Virginia and across the nation. Endorsed by the Virginia Department of Education and nationally accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), BC’s Teacher Education Program offers undergraduate programs for teacher licensure in Elementary Education PreK-6, 6-12 (biology, business, chemistry, English, history, information technology, mathematics, and history/social sciences), PreK-12 (art, health and physical education, instrumental music and vocal/choral music), and Special Education: General Curriculum, K-12. And, just this past fall, the college added an online master’s degree in education.
“The training and personal attention I received at Bluefield College is what prepared me for a career in education,” said BC alumna and Raleigh-Liberty (WV) High School teacher Leslie Lambert, one of four Bluefield College graduatesnamed Teacher of the Year in their respective schools or districts in 2011. “My success in the classroom can be attributed to the instructors at Bluefield College who took a personal interest in my success.”