Some 226 new teachers were honored at the Fresno Pacific University Teacher Education Credential Celebration on May 4, 2022.
Linda Hoff, Ph.D., the former director of the Teacher Education Division—who did much to make FPU the first choice for Valley school districts looking for top educators—was the speaker at the event for credential recipients, their families and friends in the Special Events Center on the main campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. She recalled the first credential celebration 25 years ago, and asked the new teachers to remember a few things as they begin their careers.
“I was new to my role as director of teacher education,” Hoff said, describing that first event for credential holders. “I knew how hard our students worked to earn their teaching credentials. I knew how much they and their families had sacrificed to get them through the challenges of the program.”
The first credential celebration took place on the lawn in front of Bartsch Hall. “Think picnic atmosphere, faculty flipping burgers and scooping ice cream cones. Then, one year, it rained! That was the end of the picnic on the lawn,” Hoff said.
At FPU we invite our future teachers to think about why they are choosing to be teachers, Hoff said. “So, new teachers, as you anticipate your first years in teaching, I urge you to keep this question in mind. What drives you to keep coming back after hard days? Is it worth it? Ultimately, while your work as a teacher will benefit the students you teach, your work will change you.”
Think also about your best teachers. “Some may be memorable because of their profound knowledge of chemistry, or Shakespeare or because they made science fun in third grade,” she said.
Finally, Hoff asked honorees to think about who they were with right now. “You are sitting with your friends with whom you have shared your teacher stories. I am convinced that when teachers come together to create engaging lessons, to solve problems, to occasionally cry with each other, they embody the power of love,” she said. “Tonight we call out the accomplishments of our future teachers. And tonight I call out the love and support that you have received from your families and friends throughout this journey.”
PHOTO: Linda Hoff, Ph.D.