Sam Houston State University welcomes all teacher candidates to the annual Pinning Ceremony. Candidates are officially becoming Bearkat Teachers as they are encouraged by words of wisdom from Bearkat Teachers, Dr. McGowen superintendent of the year, and the Director of innovative partnerships here at Sam Houston State University. They all received their starfish pin before taking the Bearkat Teacher Oath in becoming future Texas educators. The oath reads as follows:
I am dedicated to serving others through teaching.
I am committed to inspiring the minds of the future.
I will strive to create opportunities for others’ success.
I believe that a quality education is founded upon research,
Is culturally responsive and is ethically sound.
As a bearkat teacher, I will use my abilities
To make a positive impact on the world.
I am a lifelong learner.
I am a leader.
I am a difference maker.
I am an educator.
I am a Sam Houston Teacher.
Such a positive message to send of these graduates into educating the young minds of the future. Sam Houston is known for its exceptional teaching program and has been the start of so many educators’ career paths. SHSU educators are happy that so many wish to go down the same path into educating the youth and continue this pinning ceremony year after year honoring the newest teachers.
Dr. McGowen moved so many as she shared a story about her very first day of teaching and the nerves that she had felt, much like graduate students in the audience are feeling. “Always remember that your classroom has the power to be a transformative space. It’s a place in a world where a young person marked by any sort of circumstances can be given a very real chance to rise. That is the power of public education at its best. That a young person can start in one place, and with access, opportunity and hard work and community care, end up in another place that can transcend their initial or inherited circumstances. And that way, the classroom for me, will always be a sacred space. A place where we not only teach our children to love our great nation, but through our collective commitment to every student’s success, we reveal to them in our actions the beauty of america. The refuge she is. The opportunity she offers. The grace she gives to all of us to write stories that transcend the circumstance of our birth.”
The speakers shared such heartwarming stories about their journey through education and the lives they have touched in the process. One brand new Bearkat teacher shared that she was truly motivated by the message as she says “I cannot wait for what is to come. This pinning ceremony is the start of the next chapter of my life where I am the one in front of the classroom. I don’t know whether to be scared or excited or both.” (Morgan King). This is the kind of impact that makes Sam Houston State such a great place to call home.