Partnerships Help Teacher Preparation Candidates

Sept. 26, 2014

Preparing a booth for students.The TRiO Future Educator Success Program and Kalamazoo Public School middle school learners have just completed the academic learning phase of the Summer Slide Prevention Program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo.  This partnership focused on building the middle school learners’ skills in the areas of math, reading, financial literacy, career exploration and academic planning and allowed the teacher preparation candidates the opportunity to put into practice their formal education through experiential learning.  This collaboration between the three entities was funded by a BE GREAT Grant from the Greg Jennings Foundation.  “The data indicates that this collaboration filled a need in our community and the 84% completion rate for the middle school learners was a number too great to be ignored” says Marcy L. Peake, Director of TRiO FESP.

The teacher preparation candidates also developed their teacher dispositions, spent time learning about the moods, movements and responses of middle school learners, experienced the joys and challenges of working with other people’s children and interacted with parents and guardians.  Said one teacher candidate about participating in this program, “I learned to work together with other teachers, bounce ideas off each other and synthesize.  But the biggest thing I learned was patience with children and to have confidence in myself as a leader/teacher.  Because when I had no confidence and was telling myself that the kids did not like me and that I was a horrible teacher, then I became one.  So once I started being positive, I saw an improvement in both the kids and my ability to lead.”

On Oct. 4 all learners will be reunited for a day of team building and leadership activities at the YMCA’s Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, Michigan.  This reunion will allow the middle school learners to reunite with their TRiO FESP leaders, develop new skill sets and have some fun together.

As one partnership comes to an end, a new one is beginning.  Dr. Ming Li, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development and Dr. Michael Rice, Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools,  and their leadership teams met to discuss a 2014-15 collaboration between TRiO FESP teacher preparation candidates and Phoenix High School learners and recent graduates.  TRiO FESP learners will be paired to provide academic tutoring and mentoring support four afternoons per week to Phoenix High School learners as a component of the Phoenix High School restructuring plan.  “This opportunity allows for our learners to provide academic assistance and encourage a college going culture in the community while gaining experience in a high school setting with veteran educators, everyone wins in situations like these” says Peake.

Visit the TRiO Future Educator Success Program for more information.