We in the Secondary Education Program at Humboldt State University are committed to the high quality education of teachers. As former classroom teachers ourselves, we are all deeply committed to children and adolescents and keep them at the heart of our teaching. Our goal for all of our students is that, upon graduation from our program, they will become exceptional classroom teachers and take on leadership roles within public schools across the state as strong and articulate advocates for children and adolescents and for public education.
We believe that our rigorous and thorough selection process of the individuals we accept into our program helps to promote success in our public schools because that success relies on the hiring of highly qualified teachers. We believe in offering a challenging academic program that focuses on best educational practices and the creation of a community of caring in our program and in our public school classrooms. Because of our small size, we are able to offer the personal, community-centered program that best aligns with our educational philosophy. Thus, we respond to our students’ work personally; help our students become aware of their own assumptions, preconceptions, and personal filters; and assist them in understanding how such assumptions, preconceptions, and filters affect their teaching and the equity of the education that their students receive.
We believe that passion must be the touchstone of all teaching, and we believe that we as teachers should join with our students to bring our hearts as well as our minds into the classroom.
We are committed to the act of teaching as being one of social activism and promotion of social justice. We see teachers as being agents of social change. We are aware that prospective teachers may perceive a disconnect between the philosophy of education in some public school systems and that which we profess, and we see it as part of our mission to assist our students in their development so that they are able to take their place in those systems as thoughtful and sensitive agents of change, constantly working to bridge, narrow, and eventually close the gap between what they experience in schools and what they believe.
We know that teaching is hard work, and we believe that no profession is more rewarding and more worth the dedication it requires than our profession. This becomes especially apparent when we as teachers perceive students not as passive recipients but rather as active seekers of knowledge and learning, and this philosophy is central to our program and our teaching. We believe that literacy is the responsibility of every teacher in secondary schools, and we recognize that this too represents hard work and, for some, a stretch beyond our students’ definition of what should be included in their disciplines and their teaching.
We see the individuals in the Secondary Education Program as being involved in the process of becoming a teacher in lieu of being a student. Such a transition is, by definition, sometimes a difficult one, and we believe it is our responsibility to attempt to ease that transition and to assure that every person who graduates from our program is one we are proud to number among those we have prepared for entrance into our profession.