Kappa Delta Pi presents ‘Pizza and a Panel’


Hunter Tyler

Nia Gonzalez, Heather Campa, and Ana Aguilar share their experiences as first-year teachers April 16.

Thirty people gathered in Dillard College of Business April 16 to eat pizza and hear about the experiences of three first-year teachers.

The event, hosted by Phillip Blacklock, associate professor and director of certification and field experiences, allowed Kappa Delta Pi members and other students to gather information on student teaching.

“This is one of our ongoing series celebrating teaching, and a way that we do that is by bringing professional development to our campus to help us all learn together and become more aware of what teaching is all about,” Blacklock said.

The panel featured three first-year teachers from different school districts in the Wichita Falls area. They began by introducing themselves and giving everyone an idea of what their average day is like as a teacher.

“I feel like it’s a lot of organized chaos. It could be 8:15 a.m. and my name has already been said a million times. Everyone needs something always, but I love them and think they’re the greatest thing ever,” Nia Gonzalez, fourth-grade math and science teacher at Jefferson Elementary, said.

Heather Campa, sixth-grade social studies teacher at McNeil Middle School, shared what it’s like being a teacher for middle school compared to elementary.

“The best thing about middle school is that they’re more mature. I’ve gotten really close to a lot of kids really quickly,” Campa said.

Ana Aguilar, first-grade bilingual teacher at Zundy Elementary, provided insight on what the student teaching process was like for her.

“I did my student teaching at the school I’m working at now, so it’s important to make a big impression because you never know who’s going to hire you … . You learn a lot of things that you didn’t realize went into teaching,” Aguilar said.

The panelists lastly gave the audience some of their advice on how to “stay sane” and deal with the stress that comes with teaching.

“You have to take the time to separate yourself from school and do the things you love as a normal person first,” Campa sad.

Blacklock also mentioned that Kappa Delta Pi is accepting new members for anyone in the Education department or interested in student teaching, as all of the officers will be graduating.

“This upcoming year will be very exciting because we will be celebrating 50 years as an organization,” Blacklock said.