Tuesday, September 12, 2000

UC program puts interns in schools




By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MORROW — Education intern Sue Heckle won't have to worry about stage fright next year when she steps in front of her own classroom.

        By the time she graduates, Ms. Heckle, 22, will have a full year of teaching experience in a Morrow Elementary classroom through the University of Cincinnati's Initiative for Teacher Education. And while she's getting added experience, six Morrow Elementary teachers will benefit from a student intern in their classrooms for a full school year.

        “These are invaluable lessons I get to take with me,” Ms. Heckle said after guiding a group of first-graders through a poem about crocodiles.

        CITE requires that students get a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education in their fourth year of college and then spend their fifth year teaching half-days before they re ceive their teaching certification.

        This is Little Miami School District's first year participating in the program, said reading specialist Bev Williams. The first UC interns were placed in Cincinnati Public Schools in 1991, CPS spokeswoman Chris Wolff said.

        About 120 interns now are in schools throughout the area, including Forest Hills, North College Hill, Northwest and West Clermont districts, said Nancy Hamant, UC coordinator of professional experiences.

        Before their internship year, students spend an “associate” year teaching. During that time, they spend the first two weeks of school in a teacher's classroom and at least three hours a week in the classroom after that.

        The internship then allows university students to conduct lessons, supervise students, learn classroom management and substitute teach when a primary teacher is ill, leaving them armed with practical knowledge, participants say.

        CITE gives UC students more experience than the traditional semester-long student-teaching program, Ms. Heckle said.

        “People (in the program) are sought after as teachers because of the year of experience they've had,” Dr. Hamant said. “We find they are very employable.”

        Morrow Elementary teachers are glad to be participating this year.

        “It's a win-win situation,” said first-grade teacher Lori Partin, who is also a mentor to Ms. Heckle. “There's a second teacher in the classroom and kids get more individual attention. For (Ms. Heckle), she has so much more experience.”

       



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