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Student Teachers Prepare for Careers
By Charlotte J. Muenzenberger
UW-RF News Bureau
FEB. 18, 2005--Business suits of all colors filled the River Room in Rodli
Commons at UW-River Falls on Feb. 11. Dressed appropriately for the occasion,
some 122 student teachers created an air of professionalism as they attended
the event designed to give them a head start on the season of interviews
they'll face as graduates or as they apply for fall internships and student
A panel of experts provided the inside angle on teaching in the professional
world. The panel included Ellie Richards, fourth-grade student teaching
supervisor at Greenwood Elementary in River Falls, Elaine Baumann, River
Falls High School principal, Leon Rogella, Highland Junior High seventh-grade
teacher in St. Paul, and Fred Andrist, executive director of the West
Central Education Association.
Career counselor Sally Berkholder conducted the seminar, which was organized
by UW-RF Career Services, because career development of student teachers
is so much different than that for other UW-RF graduates.
The entire career services staff was involved in this event, including
presenting seminars, moderating the panel, conducting mock interviews
and offering individual assistance on résumés and cover
Berkholder kicked off the panel with several frequently asked, such as
what student teachers should be most aware of, what qualifications employers
are seeking, and issues such as applying for and maintaining certification
Each panelist provided a unique perspective.
"Student teachers need to be prepared and respect students with some
degree of discipline," said Richards, who said it is critical to
respond honestly to work instead of worrying about appearing "nice"
to students. She also said that lesson plan variety is good, but that
student teachers should not overlook the fact that students thrive on
Students should make the most out of working with their cooperative teachers
during the student teaching or internship process. "The teacher takes
a large risk by opening up the classroom to student teachers," said
Richards. "Fortunately, this allows for the development of a great
team. By utilizing the presence of a student teacher, the cooperating
teacher can focus on the students who need more attention."
Rogella agrees that beginning teachers need to learn a lot in order to
succeed, especially about teacher-student relationships. He explained
the importance of establishing respect in the classroom and realizing
that the students are the teacher’s responsibility, even when the
teacher doesn't have control over all of the things that happens in the
Baumann stressed that an impeccable cover letter and résumé
is an indicator of professionalism as well as leadership experience and
organizational skills. She also spoke about flexibility, explaining that
employers desire someone who utilizes a variety of skills by teaching
in many different areas or demonstrating multiple activities.
Baumann said that student teachers should know their limits and overcome
the fear of asking for help. "It is important for beginning teachers
to be familiar with different areas, but at the same time not to take
on too much," advised Baumann. Sometimes beginning teachers lack
a realization of how much work it takes to operate an efficient classroom.
Andrist closed the seminar by explaining the benefits of joining the West
Central Education Association. An organization comprised of school districts
in the region, WCEA provides practical solutions for workplace issues.
Andrist said that WCEA assesses the school climate and gives insight to
a productive working atmosphere. "WCEA will help new teachers through
their first day," says Andrist.
Career Services adviser and recruitment coordinator June Schubert said
the Career Development Day was a success. "The student teachers are
very appreciative of this event as evidenced by their comments on the
70 evaluation forms turned in at the end of the day," she said.
Whether adding finishing touches to résumés or learning
an inside tip from real-world educators, Career Services Professional
Development Day will help UW-RF student teachers become well "suited"
to teach in their own classrooms.
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:19 Central Daylight Time