Building connections builds success. At some point, many students consider dropping out, and their reasons for staying in school are revealing: they almost always include the name of a particular person– a teacher, staff member, another student — who gave them encouragement, guidance or the support they needed to keep going. Personal connections result in success.
SPC’s College of Education believes in tapping into the leadership, perseverance and dedication to service that are inherent in our military veterans. By recruiting them to become teachers, we can prepare them to make a difference in the lives of tomorrow’s students. Veterans and their spouses have the opportunity to join the College of Education and other groups in the SPC community dedicated to their training, support and leadership development.
Learn more about SPC’s Elementary Education Program.
Fred Harmon is an SPC student majoring in Elementary Education. He has been serving with the Florida Army National Guard for 14 years and he is currently a Sergeant. He has served on two overseas deployments: one in 2006 in Afghanistan and in 2010 in Qatar.
He has worked with SPC’s Veteran Services regarding his educational benefits and since Fred started in at SPC in 2012, worked with staff that have helped him stay on track and be successful in his career goals. In 2015, when Fred started with the College of Education, he also participated in the Student Florida Education Association (SFEA) which offers professional development workshops, networking opportunities and connections with professional educators.
“My military experiences have fostered my genuine concern and care for others, organizational abilities, and a commitment to excellence. These are some of many valuable skills and assets that have shaped my teaching philosophy and will hopefully positively influence my future classroom and students.
My military experience and roles also influenced my decision to become a teacher. One of my roles as a Non-Commissioned Officer is to train new soldiers with necessary skills to be successful in their military careers in the National Guard. I love seeing them grow and become part of the military family. As I progressed after my deployments, I wanted a career that would refine the skills I acquired throughout my years in the military. I also wanted a career that would further my opportunity to be a positive role model for others. What better way than starting with our youth?”
Making connections with students
“I’ve learned that I should always take time to build trust and make connections with students while establishing mutual respect. Creating a positive classroom culture where students’ feel welcome, secure and respected will have the greatest impact on their learning and success in a classroom. My experiences have also broadened my outlook in regards to cultures of other countries, customs, and languages. Without these experiences, I would struggle to connect with or manage a successful classroom that includes different personalities, cultures and backgrounds.
My educational goal is to graduate this fall with a Bachelor of Science in Education and continue my journey as an elementary education teacher. Once I step foot in my first classroom as a first year teacher, I will look for ways to improve my teaching practices and identify areas of growth. I just want to know I am doing the best job I can as I shape young minds.”
Make connections and build your success! Remember our veterans this Friday, Nov. 11!