I didn't take an oath in either state or district that I taught in or any of the colleges I have attended, and I've not heard of a teacher taking such an oath before this ceremony in Pittsburg, Kansas, but it is one more reason to love PSU's approach to teacher education or others.
There is nothing in this pledge that mentions blindly following administration or legislation and rightly so: I could not honestly make that pledge, not knowing what the administration or legislation might come to in the future. There is also nothing here about elevating any testing platform or supporting the constant testing of children as an indicator that a teacher is doing a proper job. There is nothing here about keeping up with every single data point in order to track student success or failure. I like the exclusion of these things as much as I like the inclusion of the items that are listed.
As for what is on this oath, it is all noble and dignified. It is a promise that these new teachers should work together, with students, peers, and parents, to do what is best for the whole child. Instead of teeth, there is heart in this oath. It has compassion and care, trust and respect. It demonstrates that the oath keeper is concerned with every child's present and future. It acknowledges that teachers touch the future.
And it's one more reason to be proud of my association with PSU. Other universities and teacher education programs do not necessarily acknowledge these things; some even choose to emphasize a brutal, harsh, time-sucking, emotion-draining academic program, with all kinds of ridiculous paper projects and hoop-jumping before their graduates can receive their exit papers. They pride themselves in telling incoming student teachers (and I heard this first hand when I was a cooperating teacher for another local university), "Tell your spouse, your boss, your church, and your children that you're going to be unavailable to them for the next semester. This semester of student teaching is going to require your every moment. You will not have free time to explore with your family, and you will not have time to prepare meals for your children. For the next few weeks, you belong elsewhere - making plans, preparing materials, teaching classes, grading papers, and working through the extensive project that this university requires for you to graduate with your credentials."
Happily, to my knowledge, PSU does not say this or practice this philosophy. Yes, there are some things that are required by the state and the university, but for the most part, support is provided. Coaching through stumbles and hard times is emphasized. PSU does not do everything possible to make students fail and burn out. It honors students who have worked hard and achieved a level of ability that will help them become great teachers.
When pursuing my master's degree through PSU, more than one professor explained that they realized that we were already teachers with full-time jobs and that we didn't have the time to complete a bunch of busy work. They recognized us as professionals, and they respected our opinions in their classes. As they said, they were not out to bust us or kill us with mindless chatter. I really appreciated that approach and their trust in me.
It is difficult to trust any employer that does not return that trust (Don't get me started!), and in this case, I contend that students will be more likely to return to PSU for their master's degrees, for alumni events, and for basic varsity pride. They will cherish an education that cared for them enough to nurture them and love them. They will understand that the program has their best interest at heart. To demonstrate this, one of the final quotes in the recognition ceremony went something like this. "Today, you are our students. Tomorrow [after commencement], you will be our peers."