School of Education student Stephanie Wright of Plano was named “Student Teacher of the Year” for the State of Texas by the Texas Directors of Field Experience (TDFE), the organization of faculty members within university teacher-education programs who supervise field experiences.
The award honors senior-level teacher-education students and was presented at a statewide meeting in October 2016 of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education (CSOTTE), of which TDFE is a part. There were three honorees from university-based programs.
Wright said her approach to her students and teaching is simple — be caring and compassionate.
“Many of my students have so many obstacles to overcome, but I believe in them,” Wright said. “They bring out the best in me, and I know that education is the most important factor in their lives.”
She said the best part of student teaching was getting to be involved in the lives of her students each day.
“I love the instructional times, but mostly I love all the crazy little things that happen in between,” she said. “My students constantly reminded me that childhood is fleeting and very precious. I felt blessed to be part of theirs for that short time we were together.”
Dr. Krys Goree, director of the Office of Professional Practice for the Baylor School of Education and director of field experiences for Baylor students, said the award, which honors outstanding instruction and interaction with children, was extremely competitive. Each nominee submitted a video of a full class session in which they were lead teacher, and judges watched each video.
“Stephanie’s dedication and commitment to her students is obvious and impressive,” Goree said.
Wright said she appreciated the emphasis on field experience at Baylor, especially the opportunity to begin teaching students in the first semester on campus. “I don’t think anything can fully prepare you for student teaching, but I had all of the foundational skills going in,” she said.
Baylor education majors, during their senior year, teach in local classrooms for more than 100 days during the school year. The state requirement for teacher certification is 60 days.
“I had an incredible experience at Baylor,” Wright said. “The professors are amazingly supportive and always willing to talk and problem solve about issues we were having in the classroom. They were dedicated to us becoming good teachers and also to the students we were teaching.”
Wright graduated summa cum laude in May 2016 with a BSEd in Special Education All Level and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology.
— by Meg Cullar