Education Majors Head Back to Elementary School

WPU seniors teaching at an Elementary School for their internship.

Seven senior education majors at William Peace University participated in Wake County’s first day of school Aug. 26 to begin their experience as student teachers. 
Carlee Jackson, a senior education major, got to meet parents and lead first day activities the the fourth grade classroom where she’s working this year. She said the first day of school was a big part of the student teaching experience. 
“Being there from day one, they know that you’re going to be consistent in their classroom, and you start developing those relationships with the students,” said Jackson. “Getting to see the first day was really cool, because the next first day of school I go to will be for my own classroom.”
Being only one year away from getting degrees in elementary education, with some opting for a dual licensure that also includes certification in special education, these students are busy preparing. They have had courses that teach methods and theories for teaching, and their last two semesters allow them to apply and practice them.  
As part of their requirements to graduate, they spend their last year in an assigned classroom off campus. The first semester, they are in the class part time to observe and assist the teacher while they simultaneously finish courses, while during the second semester they are full time student teachers.  At the beginning of the year, each student is placed with their classes, ranging from grades first through eighth grades.  
Dr. Jennifer Russell, head of the education department at Peace, has been preparing her students for student teaching since they first got on campus. She says this experience best prepares students for their careers, and in some cases, leads to a job offer.
“I had quite a few students last year interview at their schools for jobs, and we had a handful get hired at that school,” said Dr. Russell. “This is their time to really learn what it’s going to take for them to be in that classroom all by themselves next year.”

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