[By Regis University Assistant Professor, Sondra Hochhalter] The African tale saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is pertinent to all of our teacher education students. It takes a “village” to make a great teacher!
The first villagers are all the influential people in our students’ lives—families who support their decision to be a teacher, great teachers whom they have known and with whom they work during their teacher education program here at Regis, and great teachers in their childhood years who influenced them to want to be a teacher!
Next come the amazing full time and affiliate faculty members who have worked with the students throughout their program at Regis! The Jesuit values here are truly alive and well!
Lastly, the students complete their licensure work at Regis by becoming a Student Teacher for one semester, hosted by a Cooperating Teacher and supported by a Regis assigned Supervising Teacher, all the while encouraged by Regis Faculty.
When they get into their student teaching assigned schools, they also find that the fellow teachers, the office workers, the principal, the lunch room workers, the janitors, the bus drivers, etc., also become allies. Recently I heard a story about a school secretary who stopped a Supervising Teacher in the hall to say that our young student teacher had potential and the heart to make a really good and caring teacher.
The other wonderful school group is that group of second graders, or high school English students, or the great kids our students work with through their Special Education assignments. When the student teachers talk about their “kids” at school, they tend to glow from the amazing day to day contact with the preschool to grade 12 students who demonstrate their support of the student teachers in their classes! Some of the students even write letters of recommendation for the student teachers to “help them get a job!” Most of the P-12 students and our student teachers are in tears on the last day because the Regis student teacher is leaving.
Each year at the end of the semester, we all reflect on this amazing journey and think of the influences all these different people have on our students! They, in turn, share their insights and their knowledge gained during student teaching on our Student Teaching Blog: http://regisstudentteaching.blogspot.com/
You are invited to visit that blog to see all the amazing strategies, teacher resources, and reflections on the student teaching process that the students from the past three years have posted there. I think you’ll see that the last group of “villagers” who have helped them become the great teachers they are, is their peer group! They have established a wonderful support group of fellow Regis Teacher Education students who help each other all the time. Those friendships continue after graduation!
The entire journey is full of villages and villagers who all work together to make the great teachers that our Regis University College of Professional Studies students do become. Thanks for your part in this process!!! We truly have an amazing network of people who care to nourish our students!
It truly does take a village.
Sondra Hochhalter is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education and Counseling. She not only works with Undergraduate Teacher Licensure students, but also is the Academic Coordinator for Student Teaching, working with approximately 100 student teachers each semester, along with corresponding school district officials and teachers, as well as Regis Supervising Teachers each semester. Sondra has extensive education and teaching experience, and has been working with Regis since 1990. After enjoying her experience at Regis for many years, she retired on May 31, 2012.