FLORENCE -- Dr. K. Wayne Pruitt, a 28-year professor at Francis Marion University, is ready to return to the classroom as a full-time teacher, and to leave the administrating of the education department to someone else.
Pruitt plans to step aside as FMU’s Department of Education chairman after eight years. He loves teaching, and before retiring, wants to return to the classroom, preferably to work with incoming freshmen.
“I’d like to compare the teaching of students in 1971 with teaching students in 1999,” Pruitt said. He specifically wants to work with FMU students who want to become teachers.
Pruitt, a professor, father, and grandfather, has enjoyed seeing former students become teachers, principals, and superintendents. He has made his mark on education in the area and beyond. During the past couple of years, in part due to the education department’s quest for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), he has seen the department move from a “student-teacher” to a professional-development platform for teacher education.
FMU recently revamped the student teacher program to follow a professional development format, putting future teachers being trained at FMU into the elementary, middle and high school campus setting.
Pruitt, who hopes to become even more active in teacher recruitment in the state, is the president elect of the South Carolina Association of Teacher Educators. He is looking forward to devoting his time more heavily into teacher recruitment and retention issues at the state level.
“Dr. Pruitt has served the university well as both a professor and most recently as chairman of the education department. Under his leadership we will become nationally certified by NCATE. I regret his departure as chairman, but fully understand his desire to spend time with teachers and students,” Dr. Robert Sawyer, dean of the School of Education, Behavioral & Social Sciences, said.
Pruitt will begin full-time teaching in fall 1999. A national search is underway for his replacement.