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Eastern Hosting Future Teachers

Written by Dwight Bachman


Willimantic, CT --  About 30 high school juniors and seniors from more than 20 Connecticut school districts are receiving an inside look at what it takes to become a teacher as they participate in the 14th Annual Summer Institute for Future Teachers program at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic. The program started on July 6 and runs through July 30.

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.  Stoloff and education faculty members Leah Barbuto and Hannah Sellers, as well as Kathy Randall, CREC's interdistrict grants coordinator, serve as the leadership team for the program.  Faculty members also include Terrell Green, a Glastonbury elementary school teacher, and Ramona Nishball, a Windham Tech teacher.

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.

Students in the program prepare and present lesson plans; create positive learning environments which 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 will receive three undergraduate credits for a course entitled "Teaching in the 21st Century."  A special theme this year is international and intercultural virtual exchanges via wikispaces and the development of electronic portfolios as a learning and teaching tool.  SIFT will have an open house for parents, school principals, counselors, teachers, and other community members on July 15 and will showcase student projects and accomplishments on July 30.

For more information about the SIFT program, contact David Stoloff at (860) 465 - 5501 or .


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