Students take steps from educated to educator

College of Education students celebrate receiving their name tags. Photo by Eli Kohn.


Eligible College of Education students gathered for their name tag conferral on March 17, an annual event in which aspiring educators are presented with their name tag to wear while at schools or other educational visits. 

All education students who are required to student teach are eligible to receive their name tag once they complete core II, a selection of courses that are generally completed by the end of their sophomore year. It is the completion of core II that signifies to the university that students are ready to begin doing fieldwork in professional environments. 

A handful of faculty members, along with a few friends and family members, gathered at South Campus to support approximately 20 students who reached this milestone. College of Education professor Deborah Corpus led the event and spoke to the significance of the ceremony. 

“[The name tag] identifies us as professionals with specific expertise,” Corpus said.

Corpus continued on to express her gratitude for the hard work these students have put in, not only by their completion of coursework but for their obvious passion for teaching. Afterwards, she gave advisors the opportunity to present the nametags to their respective students. 

This accomplishment does not come without hard work. For students to earn their name tag, there are several core classes they must complete. This path looks different among students depending on the specific field of teaching the student wants to pursue. Regardless of this focus, the completion of cores is what allows students to make advancements in their academic careers. 

Sophie Kettenbrink, a sophomore education and mathematics double major, said there are four total cores that contain multiple classes each. Since many education students are pursuing different fields of teaching, different classes can be taken in order to fulfill the core requirements.

“Your classes always are gearing up towards, ‘Are you ready to be out in the world?’” Kettenbrink said. “It means that you’re going to be the one starting to teach more and not just observing.” 

On top of course requirements, there are a few additional requirements for students seeking to receive their name tag. By indicating their desired path and submitting their grades, students can apply to receive their name tag. Rather than an interview process, Kettenbrink said professors consider students’ “dispositions” to determine whether or not they think the student is ready to earn their name tag. This is mostly evaluated through class performance. 

Although quite early in comparison to other universities, student teaching for the first time is an opportunity that many students in the COE are excited to take advantage of. Corpus said the name tags given to students, usually at the end of their sophomore year, create a much friendlier and more inviting environment in the classroom, along with allowing students to feel more professional. It is a visual signifier that the student is committed to educating. 

Junior elementary education major Sabina Peters, one of the students who received a nametag, identified connections as one of the major benefits of student teaching. 

“I’m excited,” Peters said. “I mean, I feel like this is kind of like getting your white coat equivalent to the [pharmacy] students.” 

Butler’s education program and others involved in the College of Education have been able to help some students realize their true passion. Hadley Pitre, a sophomore elementary special education major, originally came to Butler to study physical therapy; however, she soon realized that was not the path for her. 

Pitre said she was encouraged by her peers to pursue teaching, and Butler’s unique education program made it irresistible. While she has always been passionate about education, especially after working in a kindergarten classroom throughout high school, student teaching helped her realize that education is definitely the career for her. 

“[Student teaching has] definitely solidified that I want to be in the classroom with the kids,” Pitre said. 

These students still have quite the journey to make, including the completion of the remainder of their four cores and student teaching placement. This event allowed friends, family and faculty to congratulate the next generation of educators for their accomplishments as they continue to serve the youth in their community.


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