POND ISLAND - The University of St. Martin (USM) recently celebrated its 23rd commencement ceremony at the Maho Beach Resort with a total of 37 proud graduates.
Amongst the graduates, a total of 12 teachers from the Bachelors of Elementary Education will be proudly starting their years in new schools across the island. Ms. Sharon Freiburg, former Division Head of the Education program supported the students from the very beginning of their studies.
The educator ensured that the group was prepared and skillful to take their careers to the next step.
In their continuous effort to contribute to an educated citizenry, the students shared their personal experience of their time at the USM.
Below are a few statements that the proud graduates wanted to share.
I am currently substituting at Sr. Marie Laurence and in August I will be at St. Joseph School. I am quite excited! I also hope to one day achieve my masters. You know the saying you are never too old to learn. Being a teacher every day that saying applies, nothing is ever the same. You may be walking into the classroom believing that you know it all, and poof reality knocks you off of your high horse. Nothing beats experience! You have to apply what you learn to the new-found experience ahead. But trust me every day is a new learning experience!
The best thing about teaching at an elementary school is being able to have an impact on the student's educational platform. It is also very fulfilling to be a role model and play all the different roles in the students' lives. One of the names I'm frequently called is mommy which proves how much love children get from their teachers and also expect from us when they come to school. Teaching elementary school gives you so many experiences from what children say and do there are hardly ever any boring days.
USM and the great and experienced instructors prepared me for most of the aspects of teaching and taught me the skills I need to relate to my students what they need to know which will lay the foundation for them to be successful in their educational career and life goals. I plan to go into one of the schools on St. Maarten to give back what I have been fortunate to receive from USM. Because going to USM allows you the opportunity to pursue your tertiary studies within the confines of your home, friends and family so that you can have support when needed in order to be successful. It is also for the younger students an opportunity to mature enough in order to be able to function away from the safety of their home and parents.
Teaching should not just be the teacher standing in front of the class and talking, but it should be fun for the students and get them involved and willing to learn and participate. As a teacher, not all the students will grasp what is taught instantly and that's where the patience and love for the job comes in. If someone is going into teaching just for the vacation day then I urge them not to, because they will not put 100% into the students. Teachers build the foundation in a student's life, and a teacher's input is very crucial to how the students take in information. I enjoy teaching because watching how some of my teachers in elementary school, high school and college taught with a passion and the love they portrayed for what they did inspired me to gain my teaching degree.