From July 8-27, high school juniors and seniors from more than 20 Connecticut school districts are participating in the 16th Annual Summer Institute for Future Teachers (SIFT) program at Eastern.
During the program, students are immersed in coursework and field trips; work with pre-school and elementary schoolchildren; integrate educational theory with practical experience; and study and live within the rich multicultural environment of Connecticut classrooms.
"Eastern and the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) created the program, which aims to increase the number of students who consider teaching as a career; emphasizes the growing role technology plays in teaching and learning; and expands efforts to recruit teachers from the diverse communities in Connecticut," said David Stoloff, professor of education and director of the University's Center for Educational Excellence.
Students in the program prepare and present lesson plans; create positive learning environments that celebrate cultural diversity; give detailed reports defending their choices for classroom layout; maintain journals reflecting on their teaching observations and experiences; and develop websites and electronic portfolios. Successful participants receive three undergraduate credits for the course titled "Teaching in the 21st Century."
Stoloff, along with Leah Barbuto, professor of early childhood education, and Terrell Green, teacher at Naubuc School in Glastonbury, serve as mentors for the students. Above left, Barbuto instructs on the fundamentals of classroom teaching.