Submitted by Teaching Fellow Amber Chavis
At the beginning of January, the first year Columbia College Cohort had a wonderful opportunity to go out into the field for the first day of their seminar class at Windsor Elementary School. Fellows talked in depth with the principal of Windsor, Mrs. Beth Elliot, as well as a few of their excellent teachers and reading coach, Mrs. Krapfel. Early Childhood majors observed with a first and second grade teacher as they instructed their students in reading and math. Elementary, Middle, and Dance Education majors observed fifth and third grade. Everyone observed in Windsor’s Collaboratory, where students are allowed to create things in a structured environment, where they can choose to for example, read, build, do puzzles, work with play-dough or engage in drama.
During this experience, our first years where able to observe several different teaching styles, and see how different teachers manage their classrooms effectively through several different methods, ranging from technology such as Class Dojo to regularly monitoring the students’ progress. Throughout all of these teachers, there was a common thread: all of them created a positive learning space where students could share the answers they had found in a risk-free envronment. The first year cohort enjoyed being able to observe diversity of teaching methods within a school that values the students and their education above all else.
Written by Harley White, First Year Columbia College Teaching Fellow
Koalas Phone Bank Utilized to Congratulate Teaching Fellows Candidates
Representatives from the Columbia College Teaching Fellows Cohorts hosted a phone bank event January 25th in order to contact the Teaching Fellows Candidates who have been invited to interview days across the state. Personally reaching out to congratulate the candidates on their progress so far, the Koala Fellows also offered advice for interview day and informed the candidates of the unique opportunities that the Columbia College Teaching Fellows Program could offer them. In just three hours, the Koala Fellows successfully contacted students from 49 high schools across the state.
Written by Caitlin O’Dell, Sophomore Columbia College Teaching Fellow
On January 19, 2017, several of the Columbia College Teaching Fellows, had the opportunity to talk to the Teacher Cadet class of River Bluff High School. While we were there we gave key points to help students be successful in their upcoming field placements. We made sure that they knew to take advantage of the time they had with their students, to focus their attention, to always have a backup plan. We shared many other key points for the ultimate field placement experience. The students had a lot of questions and seemed to be very nervous about how to interact with the children and what to do in certain situations. But, at the end of the session, they seemed to feel confident because they knew what to expect in the classroom. As Teaching Fellows, we learned from this experience as well. We enjoyed connecting with high school students which made us realize that everyone gets nervous about new experiences. IT is asking questions and pushing yourself to try new things that leads you to have the best experiences possible.
Written by Brynna Sims, First Year Columbia College Teaching Fellow
Mock Interviews Prepare Teaching Fellows Candidates
The Teaching Fellows Cohort at Columbia College held mock interviews for SC Teaching Fellows candidates on Monday, January 30, During these interviews, each candidate was paired with a Columbia College faculty or staff memeber as well as a current Teaching Fellow. Each candidate was asked a few questions, was allowed time to give their prepared presentation and even went through writing to prepare for their interview day. As Fellows who went through the process ourselves, we understand how nerve-racking this process can be. Our goal was to ease each candidate and give general feedback to them to better help them prepare. We are so excited as a cohort to see new faces added to the SC Teaching Fellows Program at Columbia College as well as at every institution, providing educators for the future.
Written by Allison Cox, First Year Columbia College Teaching Fellow