A panel of finalists for the 2019 Kansas Teacher of the Year visited Newman University Feb. 28, spending quality time with current Newman students, staff and faculty.
The Kansas State Department of Education website says, “The Kansas Teacher of the Year Award recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. Its mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance and the teaching profession.”
Panel members consisted of nominees throughout the state who travel to different Kansas schools and colleges in order to meet others in the profession and discuss education.
Cameron Carlson, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education at Newman University, said he invited recent undergraduate education program graduates and current students and more than 65 attended the event.
“It’s unique for us because we have a teacher education program,” said Carlson. “It’s a great way for them to network and meet teachers who are in the classroom doing great things.”
The discussion revolved mainly around the concept of support, letting students and graduates who are entering the field know that they have a tremendous circle of support.
Typically, the event consists of the panelists speaking to the audience and then answering any questions that might arise before heading out. Carlson said he wanted the event to be more than that so he decided to host a light dinner afterward.
The result was an hour-long opportunity for the members and attendees to have quality conversations, which Carlson said for him, was a big highlight.
“They were really engaged at the table and also with our students and recent graduates, already laying that foundation of support.”