Alaina Rink, a member of the 2013 cohort at the College of Charleston (CofC), chose to spend her summer teaching English to children in China. Rink learned about the experience from a colleague while participating in a Colonial Charleston Summer Institute. The Chinese program sought native English speakers who were willing to interact with students of all ages. According to Alaina, "Although Chinese students study English from an early age, my students had never had a foreign teacher. As I needed to adapt to the different age groups and types of school, my lesson plans went out the window." She credits the SC teaching Fellows Program for refining her professionalism and cultural sensitivity, both of which were necessary for her success with this endeavor. Ms. Rink will teach English II at Charleston County School of the Arts during the 2019-20 academic year. She admitted that she experienced fewer "first day jitters" this year because of her experience in China. "After successfully teaching a group of students whose language and culture I was trying to learn on the job without a translator, returning to my beloved school was a breeze. This experience reinforced my belief that language is not a barrier but a bond," said Rink.
Luke Harris, a USC Teaching Fellow, was recently named an EdVenture Fellow. EdVenture is a children's museum in Columbia, SC. As an EdVenture Fellow, Luke will have the opportunity to work with children from all backgrounds in a classroom setting multiple days a week. In all, he will log over 780 hours of classroom teaching experience! Luke is looking forward to refining his craft by honing his strengths and identifying his personal areas of challenge. He also will gain experience with project-based learning, educational data/research, curriculum, and lesson planning. Luke explained that the biggest benefit of the Fellowship is the networking aspect. "EdVenture is a leader in education and is often a center point of conferences and meetings between top educational advocacy groups, school districts, legislators, and others interested in the future of education. The connections I have made in the past month alone is incredible."
Edventure Fellows complete an application process, which includes a review of academic factors, and submit two letters of recommendation to the selection committee. Luke noted that Teaching Fellows played a huge role in his identification as an EdVenture Fellow.
BY TODD SCHOLL
The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) announces the addition of Clemson University as South Carolina’s newest Teaching Fellows Institution. The school will accept its first cohort of Fellows in the Fall of 2020.
With the addition of Clemson, the number of Teaching Fellows Institutions in the state accepting new Fellows now totals eleven. The other Teaching Fellows Institutions accepting new Fellows include Anderson University, Charleston Southern University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, Lander University, USC-Aiken, USC-Columbia, USC-Upstate, and Winthrop University.
"We are thrilled to add Clemson as an option for our state’s Teaching Fellows. We have no doubt that this addition will strengthen the program and help our efforts to recruit young people into the teaching profession. Clemson has a strong history of preparing South Carolina teachers as well as a solid plan for the development of a Teaching Fellows program on their campus,” said Teaching Fellows Program Director, Jenna Hallman.
The South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program has been highly effective in its efforts to recruit young people into the teaching profession. Currently, 71.2% of graduates (1,392 Fellows) are employed in 72 of 82 South Carolina public school districts, as well as the Charter Institute at Erskine and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The Teaching Fellows Program was established in 1999 by the General Assembly to address the need to recruit high school seniors into the teaching profession who have exhibited high academic achievement and service to their school and community. Teaching Fellows receive up to $24,000 over four years to pursue a degree in education. While participating in the Program, Teaching Fellows work closely with a faculty Campus Director, receive advanced professional development, partner with businesses and communities, and explore opportunities to refine their leadership skills. A Fellow agrees to teach one year in a South Carolina public school for each year he or she receives the Fellowship. If a Fellow does not meet this requirement, he or she is obligated to repay the appropriate portion of the award.
The 2020-21 Teaching Fellows application will be available to high school seniors in South Carolina and will open online on September 1, 2019.
For more information about South Carolina’s Teaching Fellows Program, visit teachingfellowsc.com.
BY AMANDA DARDEN
Part of the Junior Experience for students in the Teaching Fellows program at Coastal Carolina University is a trip to New York City. As part of this year's trip, students went inside schools to see what "progressive" education looks like and they also had a session with Coastal Carolina alumni.
The Sophomore Teaching Fellows cohort at CofC raised money to purchase age-appropriate materials and then packed these items into backpacks for children in foster care. Three cohort representatives and Dr. Hartshorn delivered 58 bags (10 diaper-size bags for infants, 24 small book bags for elementary students, and 24 larger bags for middle/high school students) to the Department of Social Services (DSS). The smiles on the faces of the DSS staff members are a sure sign that they appreciated the effort. What a great way to end the semester!
BY COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
The Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, honoring more than 30 College of Charleston students, staff, faculty and community members for their commitment to creating a campus environment that promotes diversity and excellence.
Chak Or, a Teaching Fellow at College of Charleston, took home the award for the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance.
BY HALEY AVANT
On March 20th, our group of 12 headed to Savannah, Georgia for a wonderful trip filled with beautiful weather, delicious food, and fantastic memories. Our Junior Teaching Fellows were bursting with excitement as soon as our professor let us out of class so we could get our trip started. Mrs. Baggs and her husband had found a wonderful house in the heart of Savannah which made it easy to walk to all our activities.
The first night we got there, we went to a lovely restaurant a few blocks from our house. The food was unique and gave us all a taste of Savannah. After spending time getting to know each other better at dinner, we walked further into downtown Savannah for a ghost tour. Savannah is notorious for ghosts and haunted establishments, and we got to see all of the city’s spooky history. While some of the city’s history is quite eerie, we all enjoyed walking around the historic city at night. The weather was wonderful, and it gave us a great first look at the city we were so blessed to visit.
The next day many of us started our morning by getting coffee at a little restaurant a few minutes from our house. Then, our whole group sat down to just talk about what has been going on in our lives. It was a great way to start the day and further our friendships. Next, we headed out into the city again to find a local restaurant for brunch. We ended up at a lovely establishment overlooking the river. We had a blast just relaxing in the sunny weather and eating delicious Cajun style food. We then hopped on a riverboat cruise to hear some more about the industrial side of Savannah’s history. It was such a beautiful day to hear about the rich history and maybe get a few sunburns. Following the cruise, we were on a mission for ice cream. We found a local establishment that was famous for their ice cream. We then dispersed and toured the city in smaller groups. Our group walked all around the city hitting local stores, coffee shops, candy shops, and the beautiful iconic sights of Savannah. We ended our evening in the city at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons. It was a classic southern buffet where we definitely all ate a little too much. That night back in our house we relaxed, hung out, watched movies, and played games.
The next morning, we took our time getting ready, packing up, and getting breakfast at local joints close to our house. Around lunch time, we found a small diner to eat our last meal of the trip at. After lunch, we headed to a gorgeous park in the heart of downtown. Here, we took pictures and then sat in the grass to talk with each other. Since we are all juniors, we are all approaching student teaching next year. We discussed our fears and excitement of the upcoming challenge in our lives. This part of the trip reminded us just how lucky we are to have each other as we step into our last year of college. This trip definitely strengthened bonds, and gave us all sweet memories we will cherish for a long time. We are so grateful for the experience to travel to a new city, explore and learn new things, and build friendships that we will treasure for a lifetime.
BY DR. TIMOTHY LINTNER
USC Aiken’s Teaching Fellows headed to “The Happiest Place on Earth” for their Junior Experience. The Fellows participated in two of Disney’s signature College Leadership courses, Impactful Leadership and Culture of Excellence. Fellows problem-solved issues that confront Disney daily and did so reinforcing the tenets of collaboration, vision, and integrity. Fellows also went “off-stage” to see the inner workings of both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. It was a fantastic four-days of fellowship, fun – and a few Princesses here and there!
On September 9, 2019, four brave USC Aiken Teaching Fellows tested their fate at the Aiken 2 Escape Room. A sinister suspect was afoot! With time ticking and their futures in peril, the Fellows collected clues as to secure their own release. After admittedly (and literally) stumbling in the dark for a few (like almost 10) minutes, the Fellows calmly (not really) and methodically (not even close) worked together (this is true) to gather the final clue which (literally and thankfully) opened the door to freedom. All with one second – literally ONE SECOND – to spare! Once again, leadership and teamwork prevailed!
Timothy Lintner, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Professor
University of South Carolina Aiken
Coordinator of Communications & Technology.