Published on August 30, 2017 by Sara Roman  

Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education honored 39 students during the annual Lamp of Learning Ceremony August 28. The ceremony marks the official admission of teacher education candidates into the major.

Guest speaker, Sonia Carrington shared four aspects she commonly found in wonderful teachers during her 34 years of service in public education, “Demonstrate passion, establish relationships, make learning exciting, nourish motivation; and I guarantee you will make an impact.”

Carrington is an alumnus of the education school and currently serves as the Dean’s Executive Council chair. She was named the 2008 National Distinguished Principal of the Year.

Carrington shared a quote from the book Keeping Good Teachers, “’Watching a great teacher at the top of his or her form is like watching a great surgical or artistic performance. Although indefinitely difficult and painstakingly planned, great teaching appears effortless and seamless,’” said Carrington. “As you spend the next years reading articles, learning from your professors and teachers within school systems, work hard and participate because you, as a teacher, have the power to influence and mold lives.”

The group was encouraged but also challenged, “A good education can change anyone, but a good teacher can change everything,” said Carrington. “You have the power to make a tremendous difference in the lives of others, so grab your lamp and turn it on!”

Jeanie Box, Orlean Beeson School of Education dean, led the lighting of the lamp. In academia, the lamp serves as a symbol of a continuous search for wisdom and knowledge. In scripture, the lamp is mentioned often and each time represents the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good which are from the Lord alone as stated in Revelation 21:23-24. Box read from scripture and prayed love, mercy, strength and justice over the students.

The ceremony included the presentation of badges by teacher education seniors. “When I received my badge last year, it made me feel that the entire education school was behind me and that my professors trusted I was ready to lead my own classroom,” said senior, Claire Borst.  “It is an honor to pin the badges on the junior class as they step into their field experience.” Student’s also received department of teacher education polo shirts.

Inductees were also eligible for admission into the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). A global community of educators dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching and leading.

The group will begin internships this fall at Trace Crossings Elementary and will spend three days at the school. Each student is paired with cooperating teacher who will help them further develop their skills and expose them to tangible experiences. “We believe that the best place for our students to learn is in the classroom,” said Karen Birkenfeld, department chair of teacher education. “In addition to the many hours students will spend the classroom, the group will have some of their education courses on site at Trace Crossings.”

The undergraduate secondary and early childhood, special education, elementary collaborative (ESEC) programs are both nationally recognized by specialized professional associations.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.