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UD elementary teacher education majors Ashley Sullivan (left) and Briana Nolin student-teaching at Providence Creek Academy.

UD elementary teacher education majors get real-world classroom experience

There’s a very good reason why 94% of undergraduates majoring in elementary teacher education (ETE) at the University of Delaware are employed as elementary, middle school or special education teachers after graduation. In addition to traditional classroom learning, ETE majors spend much of their degree program engaged in extensive field experiences in real-world educational settings—teaching, tutoring and mentoring in local schools and community centers.

Fulfilling these field experiences is how Briana Nolin and Ashley Sullivan arrived at Providence Creek Academy, a charter school 30 miles south of Newark, for their junior-year student-teaching placement. For three weeks, Nolin and Sullivan got their first taste of what it truly means to be a teacher: developing lesson plans, assessing student progress and leading a classroom of eager fourth graders.

“At first, it was a bit intimidating being up front and having full control over the class,” Nolin said. “They were so welcoming the first day we walked into the classroom. Even though we were only there for a total of 21 days, we felt instantly connected and at home with this class and teacher.”

“I’m really going to miss their help,” said Amber Smith, the fourth-grade teacher at Providence Creek Academy who hosted Nolin and Sullivan. “And I know my students will be sad to see them go.”

Read the full article in UDaily