Friday, May 28, 2010

Kean University recognizes their distinguished interns

There are a whole lot of good things to say about Kean University in Union, New Jersey. For one thing, it has a nice campus. Flowers bloom in well-designed spaces on lawns so green and perfectly groomed that you might as well be in a country club.

Shimmering glass reflects the trees on new structures to house classrooms where students are learning science and the latest technologies.

A brand new Human Rights Center is lined with photographs of those who dare to speak truth to power.

This is a good place so I was more than happy to make a presentation to the distinguished teaching interns that Dr. Martha Mobley and Dr. Susan Polirstok are so proud of. And they should be.

I spoke to this select group of newly formed teachers and I was so impressed with their stories, the dreams in their eyes, their gathered families and the trust that their Kean University professors have placed in their talents and abilities.

One by one, they came forth and we all heard testimony of their magic in the classroom. One transformed an unruly classroom whose teacher had been gone for two long months. In short order, this new teacher brought it all into focus and the children were learning again, safe in her world.

In another class, a student teacher had created so many amazing smart board lessons that she was already presenting to the supervisors who had their notebooks out, ready to learn.

Each intern had made great strides with their students and had won the acclaim of their cooperating teachers and supervisors.

I especially liked looking at the three daughters of one new teacher. As a single mother, she had raised these lively, blond daughters while studying and working. Now, she was standing before us, with tears in her eyes because she was a teacher. She had done it! Everyone was singing her praises. Her daughters saw how mom had succeeded.

On the way out of the auditorium, one of them held the door for me. I took the opportunity to ask how they felt about mom's accomplishments. "Very proud," they gushed, in one voice.

I wish their mom had seen them say that. But then again, that's the sort of world this distinguished intern and mom makes happen.

This is the way a great teacher begins. The world is lucky to have these Kean University teachers. They will spread light and learning wherever they go.

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