UHV graduate honored as teacher ambassador

As a student teacher this past semester who excelled in the classroom, Lacey Robins was honored for her outstanding fieldwork during her placement as a student teacher working to enter the teaching profession.

Toward the end of the spring semester, she received the first-ever Teacher Ambassador Award from the University of Houston-Victoria College of Education & Health Professions.

Lacey Robins

“I am proud to represent UHV and will be continuing on to pursue my master’s degree,” said Robins, of Katy, who received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in early childhood education last month.

As a student teacher, she made an impression on her faculty field supervisors from UHV who observed her in the kindergarten classroom at Bryant Elementary School in Brookshire, where she fulfilled her student-teaching requirement this spring.

“We have student teachers who do a phenomenal job and mentor teachers willing to take on our student teachers, so we wanted to show appreciation for them,” said Rachel Martinez, dean of the UHV College of Education & Health Professions.

Rachel Martinez

Martinez asked the college’s faculty members who serve as directors of field experience to nominate student teachers who excel in the classroom and work well with their mentor teachers. The college then chose one nominee to serve as the Teacher Ambassador who would then present a gift of school supplies on behalf of UHV to her mentor teacher and classroom.

“Being a student teacher is challenging and stressful,” Martinez said. “They have a lot of activities they have to do in order to complete their certification. The fact that Lacey stood out to the directors of field experience who nominated her speaks to the quality student she is.”

Student teaching does have its challenges, Robins said.

“The first thing you need to learn is classroom management, and with 22 kindergarteners you have to be able to get their attention and keep the lesson flowing,” she said. “I think the best moment is when you see that your lesson plan is flowing, and it is engaging, and they're having fun and learning. It is magical when that happens and everything comes together.”

As a mother of four boys with family obligations, Robins appreciated the online component of UHV’s degree program.

“The affordability and flexibility of the program made it possible for me to reach my goal of becoming an educator,” she said. “The accessibility with online classes really made it happen for me.”

She credited her professors for giving her the strategies to teach and the knowledge to pass her state exams.

“My professors were supportive by first being compassionate and personable, which really made our graduating class a family,” she said. “They were always available to help and left multiple ways to maintain contact via email and conference hours.”

Robins plans to become an elementary school teacher, possibly specializing in teaching dyslexic students.

“I was inspired as a child by my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Rowe, to love reading,” she said, “and it is a passion of mine to continue inspiring others with encouragement and love.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.