Statewide Honor for SOE’s Safety and Wellness Summit for Future Teachers

Spring 2024

May 30, 2024
Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff and Lisa Osborne with state award

Dr. Kylan Clark-Goff (left) and Lisa Osborne with Baylor's statewide award.

A School of Education (SOE) seminar for future teachers received statewide recognition for its innovation. The SOE’s School Safety Summit originated in the spring of 2023 when seniors confided in Dr. Jenifer Johnson, director of recruitment and first-year experiences, about their apprehensions regarding the increasing dangers in school environments. In response, Johnson invited SOE Dean, Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke, to meet with the SOE Student Advisory Council to discuss the matter. After hearing from this group of student leaders and volunteers, Hagan-Burke quickly tasked Johnson and the school’s Office of Professional Practice (OPP) with identifying solutions to support these future educators.

Dr. Jenifer Johnson speaking
Dr. Jenifer Johnson speaking at the inaugural Safety Seminar

“Some student teachers had voiced concerns about what to do to keep their students safe,” said Lisa Osborne, associate director of assessment and professional development in OPP. The inaugural summit was held in April 2023 and targeted seniors “about to embark on their careers in the classroom,” she said.

The event was well received and OPP, led by Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, director of clinical experiences and school-based partnerships, decided to make it a recurring part of the teacher preparation experience. The programming has expanded to include both juniors — who teach in a local school four mornings a week — and seniors — who teach full-time four days a week in a local school. The summit occurs in the fall as students begin their clinical work in schools.

The Education Deans of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (EDICUT) gave Baylor’s Osborne and Clark-Goff the organization’s “Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award” in the fall at the annual meeting of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education. The annual award is specifically for university programs preparing teachers.

Baylor’s annual summit includes a safety presentation by the Texas School Safety Center, which educates Baylor students about safety requirements mandated by the State of Texas for schools and teachers, as well as best practices for ensuring school safety. Other speakers at the event address health, nutrition, and spiritual wellbeing. Osborne said the information empowers students to evaluate school environments during their job search and equips them to maintain their health and wellness as they embark on their career.