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SIFT Program Provides Hands-on Experience for Future Teachers

Written by Arielle Cotoia

Willimantic, Conn. -- From July 10-29, approximately 20 high school juniors and seniors from  more than 20 Connecticut school districts will participate in the 15th annual Summer Institute for Future Teachers (SIFT) program at Eastern Connecticut State University.

"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.

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 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 will receive three undergraduate credits for the course titled

"Teaching in the 21st Century." This year's theme is "wellness for students and teachers,"

which emphasizes the importance of health and wellness for effective learning.

Stoloff along with Leah Barbuto, professor of early childhood education, and Terrell Green, teacher at Naubuc School in Glastonbury, will serve as mentors for the students. SIFT residential assistants and Eastern students Alexander Cross and Whitley Mingo will also be on hand to help.

On July 29, parents, school principals, counselors, teachers and other community members will gather in the auditorium of the Science Building to attend the SIFT closing ceremony.

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

 

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