Students in the education program at Lycoming College had the unique opportunity to learn their trade from a panel of alumni of the program who spoke on campus Tuesday.
The panel discussion was organized by the college's Student Pennsylvania State Education Association and hosted alumni from each decade of the program's existence at the college. Dr. Amy Rogers, education chairwoman, said the event happens every other year and this year it is part of the college's bicentennial celebration. The teacher certification program first started on Lycoming's campus in 1955.
Rogers explained the panelists come from all walks of the education process - some are teachers, principals and superintendents.
JOSEPH STENDER/ Sun-Gazette
Lycoming College Education Alumni visited the campus Tuesday night to speak with students in the program. The event was an opportunity to learn and network, Dr. Amy Rogers, education chairwoman, said. The panel discussion was part of the college’s bicentennial celebration.
Panelists were able to talk about their experiences while also preparing the audience for what to expect when they enter their teaching careers.
"It's always about passion ... It's always been about my students what I do with those students," Marilouise Mazzante, Class of 1976, said.
Many panelists echoed Mazzante's feelings and Dave Bross, Class of 1993, talked about how teachers have to be willing to go the extra mile for their students. He told the audience a story about how he was called in the evening and went to counsel a student at their home, by request of the mother.
"Teaching is not just what you do, it's what you are," he said.
Carm Grieco, Class of 1957, stressed the importance of living in the community. He said as a teacher, you become part of the community and will be called on in it.
You must care about what you are teaching or else the students will not care, was the same advice B.J. Springman, Class of 2011, received before becoming a sixth grade teacher this summer in the Williamsport Area School District.
Kristine Datres, Class of 1975, said making connections while student teaching and at jobs can only help you. Rogers said that is one reason they hold the event, so students in the program can meet education professionals.
"This is the best part, the networking," she said.
Students also were urged to look outside of the area when searching for jobs after graduation. Grieco said he taught on a reservation for three years to gain experience before finding a local job.
Rogers had the same message, "Not that I don't want you to stay in the area, not that I don't want you to go home, but there are jobs if you're willing to go."