(Dec. 11, 2012) -- Approximately 285 UTSA education majors are ready to enter a classroom in a different role this fall. The students, newly trained and certified, are the most recent new teachers to be inducted by the UTSA College of Education and Human Development. UTSA is the largest producer of K-12 teachers in San Antonio, having trained and certified more than 6,300 teachers.
Before UTSA education majors can graduate with their degrees and become certified teachers, they must complete a semester of required student teaching. The experience gives them the opportunity to practice instructional techniques, manage a classroom, navigate a school setting and auxiliary services, and work as a member of a professional team.
The UTSA education majors will be certified to teach early childhood education-sixth grade, middle school (4th-8th grade), high school (8th-12th grade) or all levels, a certification awarded to P.E., art, music and special education teachers.
Years ago, UTSA education majors would complete their required student teaching with little or no fanfare. However, Janet Scott, director of the Office of Student Teaching, believed that completing student teaching merited recognition.
"Student teaching is a rigorous experience, and these students deserve special recognition for the commitment they have made to their studies and to the education of the next generation," said Scott.
So, what began as a simple gathering to mark completion of their efforts has transformed into a full-fledged induction ceremony allowing UTSA student teachers to invite their family members, friends and mentors. Schools districts across the region also attend the UTSA induction ceremonies to celebrate the incoming teachers.
This semester, UTSA will induct approximately 250 new K-12 teachers amid an expected audience of 600 supporters. Undergraduate Sarai Lara will be among them.
A bilingual education major, Lara completed her student teaching at San Antonio Independent School District's Japhet Elementary School. The commitment was tremendous. She commuted 81 miles one way from her home in Uvalde, Texas, Monday-Friday, to work with the children in Celina Chambers' first-grade class.
Like many of the children she teaches, Lara spoke only Spanish when she began attending school. It's something that she feels connects her to the class.
"I enjoy helping the kids and relating to them and what they're going through," she said. "I really enjoy seeing them learn. When the little light bulb goes on, it's so exciting to know that I connected with them."
UTSA College of Education Dean Betty Merchant says that's what it's all about.
"Student teaching gives our education majors an opportunity to hone their skills under the direction of an accomplished master teacher," said Merchant. "This year, 16 school districts across the San Antonio region and in Boerne, Comal County, Lytle and Bandera welcomed our students for student teaching placements. We are so grateful for these partnerships. The experience positions our students to enter the teaching profession well-prepared to make a difference in the lives of our youth."
The UTSA fall 2012 induction ceremony was Friday, Dec. 7 in the University Center Ballroom on the Main Campus. Daniel Leija, 2011 Texas Teacher of the Year, was the keynote speaker. Known as "Dan, Dan, the science man," Leija is a fifth grade teacher at Northside Independent School District's Esparza School.
The UTSA College of Education and Human Development is the leading provider of educators in San Antonio and South Texas. The college is responsible for innovative research and grants in professional development, technology enhancement, health, school readiness, and bi-national and bicultural issues.
This event showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines including engineering, science and business.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Sombrilla, Main Campus
The UTSA Center for the Inquiry of Transformative Literacies sponsors this free event that's open to the public.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 1.338), Downtown Campus
The UTSA Student Goverment Association Student Sustainability Committee will host a Sustainability Exhibit for students, faculty and staff to visit and learn more about green living.
UTSA Central Plaza, Main Campus
Enjoy winter holidays from around the world plus performances, free food and lighting of the Paseo.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
After UTSA class rings spend the night in the Alamo, Roadrunners will receive their special keepsake with fellow Roadrunners during this one of a kind ceremony.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
The annual holiday concert series, Winterlude concludes with the concert featuring the bands. Ron Ellis and John Zarco direct the ensembles in secular and sacred holiday favorites.
Arts Building Recital Hall (ART 2.03.02), Main Campus
This ceremony honors graduates from the College of Business, College of Engineering, the College of Public Policy and College of Sciences. U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro will deliver the keynote address.
Alamodome. 100 Montana St., Downtown San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.