Student Teaching Award

Student teaching, as the capstone undergraduate experience, affords each Francis Marion University teacher candidate the opportunity to demonstrate potential as a quality educator. Candidates are required to display the knowledge, skills, and dispositions generally deemed necessary for success in the classroom, and these traits are documented and measured through this culminating experience. While an understanding of teaching children of poverty is expected of all candidates at FMU, some prospective teachers clearly excel in their connections with students and families who have limited resources. Each semester since Spring 2011, the Center of Excellence has recognized a student teacher that best exemplifies those characteristics addressed within the six Teaching Children of Poverty standards adopted by the School of Education. Awardees receive a monetary prize and a certificate of achievement, and are featured in Center of Excellence publications.

Each year, the Center, in concert with School of Education faculty members, selects a student teacher that best embodies the six Teaching Children of Poverty standards. Recipients of this award not only demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in the classroom but are sensitive to the importance of strong connections with students and families with limited resources and have established them as early as the student teaching semester.

Awardees receive a gift and certificate of achievement and are featured in Center of Excellence publications.

Each candidate is asked to complete an application with a one-page statement on the topic “My Important Work as a Teacher of Children of Poverty.” Applicants use this statement to express how they have met the needs of students living in poverty during the extended field placement, as well as how they, as novice teachers, have been changed by the experience. Recommendations from cooperating teachers and supervising professors are required.

2022 Recipient: Sara Borck Undergraduate 

2022 Recipient: Mary McElveen Graduate

2021 Recipient: Kailey Varney Undergraduate

2021 Recipient: Carrie Johnson Graduate