Valley City State & NDSU students get teaching experience in West Fargo
WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Students at Valley City State University and North Dakota State University are given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience teaching.
Nearly 20 college students are enrolled in a teaching program at Eastwood Elementary School where student teachers are partnered with elementary teachers to learn about life in the classroom. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the program as it gives students early experience in their teaching career.
“It has built my confidence up, so when I am in the classroom, I know what I am doing and where to call for help. I feel really confident going into my student teaching that I will become a teacher and be on my own,” Student Teacher Jordan Queen said.
Queen, a sophomore at NDSU, is an aspiring middle school teacher and hopes to teach any subject from math to social studies.
College students and teachers alike say this program will prepare students once they graduate.
“I love the real experience in the classroom. There’s only so much you can do from sitting at your college classroom learning about what it’s like. But to actually be in it with the kids and with the teachers. They are in on our planning times and our PLCs (Professional Learning Community). They are able to see what actually goes on into the decision making and how to make it,” Second Grade Teacher Melissa Fritchman said.
It’s also an opportunity for students to find a mentor in this program.
“I think one of the biggest things is just that conversation that they can have with the teacher to self-reflect, if they are observing a lesson, they can kinda pick their brain too. To think about different teaching practices and how they can improve that. And just being part of the planning too with their cooperating teachers and seeing what lesson planning is like so they can make those lessons successful in the room,” Eastwood Elementary Assistant Principal Tom Gruchow.
This is the first year of the program. The student teachers are at the elementary school every Tuesday and Thursday.