School of Education interns learn about teaching first-hand
7/16/2012 5:04:29 PM
(July 16, 2012) A summer immersion program for elementary
school students in nearby Hall County helped children polish their language
skills and the North Georgia College & State University interns who taught
them improved their skills as educators.
|A summer immersion program in nearby Hall County paired interns in North Georgia's School of Education with small groups of students from Lyman Hall Elementary School.
"One of the main things
that I have learned is that as a teacher you have to teach to each of the
different learning levels that students possess," said Katherine Peifer, a
North Georgia student-teacher.
"It may be more work at first as the teacher, but in the end when you
watch a child grow in leaps and bounds, then all the hard work has paid
The summer immersion program, a partnership between Hall
County Schools and North Georgia's School of Education, was designed to help 5-
and 6-year-old students whose native language wasn't English develop language
and math skills. The program is part of the yearlong collaborative
professional development opportunity for Hall County teachers, North Georgia
faculty, and student teachers like Peifer.
The hard work they're doing as interns is paying off
professionally as well. Three School of Education interns have been offered
teaching jobs, said Linda Reece, assistant professor in the School of
Education. It's a testament to the experience North Georgia student-teachers
get through the university's unique partnership with the Hall County School
"What we're trying to do is find specific ways we can interact with the school systems and meet their needs, while they're providing our interns with much more authentic-based learning than traditionally we had," she said. "All college and universities have professional clinical practice, that's required. But our students typically do 50 percent more classroom time than is required for certification of student teachers."
Amber George said she feels ready to have her own class of
students, thanks to the North Georgia program.
"This whole opportunity has been so great," she
said. "I feel when I graduate and get my own classroom that I will be
really prepared since I already have had so many opportunities to lead my own
Instruction took place in English during the summer
immersion program, but because the North Georgia interns speak Spanish, they also
can communicate with children in their native language. The children in the
program were from Lyman Hall Elementary School in Hall County, which has a
student body that is 95 percent Hispanic.
"This summer, our students worked on specific skill
development for challenged learners, and are pilot-testing a Spanish version of
a literacy development and curriculum resources program created by faculty at
the University of Virginia," said Dr. Robert Michael, dean of the School
The program wrapped up in June
and interns felt they learned a lot in three weeks.
"This summer, I was the lead teacher in the room and
therefore had to manage the planning, lessons, activities, behavior, and other
classroom issues," Danielle Carver, a student in North Georgia's School of
Education. "It also gave us an opportunity to talk to teachers and
ESOL staff, gaining a better understanding of what they do and getting tips on
how to deal with different issues."