TaLisha Givan

Director of Educator Preparation Admissions and Clinical Experiences, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction

Unlike public perception, teaching is hard work. We are simply not allowed to have bad days. Teaching takes someone with a heart for kids, someone who is passionate, someone who is selfless, someone who recognizes it’s not about you, but about them.

Talisha Givan believes teachers can save the world.

“While firefighters save lives and police officers ensure safety, I truly believe teachers can save civilization,” she said. “If you think about positive influences in your life, there’s a teacher in there somewhere who helped you realize your potential and made a big difference.”

Givan is adamant about preparing future teachers for the classroom. “I tell students from the beginning that I want them to have the passion for it. You can be smart and have all the pedagogical skills in the world, but if you don’t have a heart and passion for kids, then teaching is not for you.”

She said students have a misconception that they can come in and teach anything at anytime. “That’s not the case,” she said. “I don’t have what it takes to teach kindergarteners. They’re too little for me.”

In addition to accountability, Givan said today’s teaching standards present a special challenge. “We learn from the beginning that teaching is both an art and a science. You can standardize the science, but you can’t standardize the art because there’s an artistic flair that happens in the classroom.

“As long as they try to tell us what to say and how to say it, and what to teach and how to teach it, we will continue to have the same challenges.”

Henderson has always had a strong teacher education program, Givan said. “I’m a product of this program, and I believe that is why I am who I am. It feels good to be home, and it feels good to give back.”

She said her students “most definitely” have the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be successful in the classroom. “We don’t even allow them to get a degree until they have passed all of the state-required exams,” Givan said. “By the time they get to their internship, 95 percent of the time, our students are overly prepared and ready to go. We set them up for success. And I tell them all to ‘be great.’”

When asked why she teaches, Givan replied, “Why not? When I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to change the world, so I became a teacher.”

Department:
Teachers College

Contact Info:


Degree and School:
EdD in Education Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Research:
Factors for internship success and failure
Quality placements in clinical experiences
Pedagogy in the mathematics classroom

I've been at Henderson since:
2010

Courses