Education Students Hands-on Training
When students in Bluefield College’s Teacher Education Program completed their studies and graduated this past spring, they did so with more than just knowledge obtained from books and lectures.

Education Students Hands-on Training

By Chris Shoemaker | June 13, 2014 | RSS

Student Teachers - Spring '14Bluefield College spring 2014 student teachers (front, left to right) Megan Hardison, Beverlie Connor, Amanda Heller, Brittany Rhoton, (second row, left to right) Kristen Slade, Kalyn Dolan, Allison Lester, (third row, left to right) Yatrik Patel, Charity Jollay, Natasha Corell, and (back) Timothy Schuler.


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.


Eleven BC students completed the on-the-job training this past spring, including Beverlie Conner of Roanoke, Virginia; Natasha Corell of Tazewell, Virginia; Kalyn Dolan of Gladys, Virginia; Megan Hardison of Yorktown, Virginia; Amanda Heller of Chesapeake, Virginia; Charity Jollay of Bluefield, Virginia; Allison Lester of Bluefield, Virginia; Yatrik Patel of Tazewell, Virginia; Brittany Rhoton ofGate City, Virginia; Timothy Schuler of Stafford, Virginia; and Kristen Slade of North Tazewell, Virginia.


They all spent the spring 2014 semester providing much needed assistance to local schools, while at the same time getting valuable practical experience as teachers in the classroom.


“My time with Bluefield College’s Teaching Education Program was of great value,” said Conner, who completed her student teaching at Graham Intermediate and Dudley Primary schools. “I have grown in my knowledge of the content, but more specifically in my knowledge of classroom management. I enjoyed the time I had to enhance my skills as a student and future teacher.”


A graduate of Roanoke Valley Christian School, Conner is the daughter of Tracy and Caryn Conner. At BC, she is vice president of the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA).


Corell, a graduate of Tazewell High School, completed her student teaching at Springville Elementary and Tazewell High schools. The daughter of Chad and Michelle Brown, she attended Radford University before BC. At Bluefield, she was a member of SVEA and the Rams cheerleading squad.


Dolan completed her student teaching at Graham Intermediate and Rocky Gap High schools. A graduate of William Campbell High school and the daughter of David and Kristi Dolan, she is a member of SVEA, Alpha Delta sorority, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, and Pi Lambda Theta teacher’s society. She is also a tutor and the recipient of a Praxis Excellence Award.


“Because of my experiences in the Teacher Education Program, I feel that I am fully prepared to teach in any setting,” said Dolan. “Not only am I prepared to teach, but I am also prepared to handle behavior problems, students with special needs, parents, and co-workers.”


Hardison, the daughter of Frank and Susan Hardison, completed her student teaching at Graham Middle School and Rocky Gap Elementary School. A graduate of Summit Christian Academy, she is a member of SVEA, a BC Presidential Scholar, and past president of the Student Government Association.


Heller, a graduate of Hickory High School and the daughter of Terrance and Rebecca Young, completed her student teaching at Dudley Primary and Springville Elementary schools. At BC, she is a member of SVEA, Alpha Delta sorority, Pi Lambda Theta teacher’s society, and Baptist Collegiate Ministries. She is also president of Greek Council and a recipient of the Praxis Excellence Award.


Jollay, a graduate of Graham High and the wife of Bryan Jollay, completed her student teaching at Graham Middle and Graham High schools. She is a member of SVEA and attended Virginia Tech before BC.


Lester, a graduate of Graham High School and the daughter of Melissa Lester, completed her student teaching at Graham High and Graham Intermediate schools. She is a member of SVEA and also participated in BC’s Concert Band and Bluefield Singers.


“Being in the Teacher Education Program at Bluefield College helped me to become a more confident person,” said Lester, “and has improved my skills on how to communicate with students, teach material, and help students prepare for their future.”


Patel, the son of Paresh and Laksha Patel, completed his student teaching at Tazewell Middle School and Tazewell High School. A graduate Tazewell High, he is a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society.


Rhoton, the daughter of Ricky and Patsy Rhoton, completed her student teaching at Graham High and Rocky Gap Elementary schools. A graduate of Gate City High School, she is president of the Virginia Kappa Chapter of Alpha Chi National Honor Society. She is also a member of Pi Lambda Theta teacher’s society.


Schuler, the son of Al and Sue Schuler, completed his student teaching at Graham Intermediate and Princeton Senior High schools. A graduate of Brooke Point High School, he is vice president of Phi Psi Omicron fraternity and a member of Bluefield Singers.


Slade, a graduate of Champions Academy and the daughter of Greg and Leeanna Slade, completed her student teaching at Dudley Primary and Graham Intermediate schools. At BC, she is a member of Alpha Delta sorority, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, and SVEA.


“I feel fully equipped to teach in my own classroom,” said Slade, “as a result of being a part of this Teacher Education Program.”


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.”



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