Teachers everywhere are trying to navigate this new world, and State is working hard to prepare it’s student teachers to enter the field.
Holly Hager, a sophomore and education major, said changes are being made to her education classes at State with how they are preparing her to become a teacher.
“Right now, we can’t enter the schools, so for observation hours, my teacher is setting up a virtual zoom meeting with some teachers that she knows. We’ll get to see how they’re handling a classroom which would prepare us for the classroom.” Hagar said.
“They’re trying to teach us different ways to engage with kids without being as close as we would have been, but now it’s six feet apart and you’ve got to be able to teach a student, something that was originally planned for a group,” Hager said.
“The assignments that I require in my class are going to change based on the virtual environment of public school. My students plan and teach lessons in the public schools, and that’s going to be very different obviously. Are they going to be able to teach to a whole group, or would their cooperating teacher prefer that they do something that’s more like a small group presentation?,” Dr. Emily Waugh, an education professor at State said.
Dr. Waugh does believe her students will leave State fully prepared to enter the new school environment.
“We have a really strong teacher preparation program, and we are being very flexible, and we are also very responsive to the needs of our students. So, I do think they are going to leave with as best preparation as possible given the current environment,” Dr. Waugh said.
“I think the Education Department has definitely prepared us so far. We do lots of zooms and lots of Google Meets. So, then we could share that with our kids later, because that’s the new world. If we do stick with virtual for a while, I will probably enter the school setting in a virtual world,” Hager said.
Teaching elementary children will be a challenge. That’s where a lot of your important foundations come in, a lot of your English, math, reading, and basic sentence structure, according to Hagar.
“I’ve never had any second thoughts about it. I am 100 percent going to be a teacher, and I can’t wait to do it. It is a little bit daunting, because it is new, and you have to learn with those new changes. I mean, a lot of that is something that we’re going to have to all come to, but I think I am still going to stay with this field because it is the field I am meant to be in.” Hagar said.