This blog post was written by Kacey Auletto. Kacey is a senior at the University of Dayton studying Early Childhood Education, with concentrations in pre-kindergarten special needs and urban education. She spent the summer as an intern at Battelle for Kids in the Strategic Measures department.
Most veteran teachers would agree that they never stop learning. Renee Staudt, a pre-service middle childhood education student at Muskingum University, has already accepted this about her career path. She was unsure about her college major and future plans until her experience working at a Girl Scout camp helped her discover her passion for learning and teaching.
“With this experience, I learned things I did not know before, taught others what I did know, and realized that I will always continue learning through teaching,” Renee said. Her passion for learning led her to decide on a career in education. “I want to make a difference in children’s lives by instilling within them the desire to be life-long learners.”
Renee will be student teaching this fall. In her previous semesters at Muskingum, her education professor Dr. Rae White emphasized the importance of learning through the use of the FIP modules. Renee completed the modules during her coursework and learned the importance of providing Clear Learning Targets for her students.
“Providing clear learning targets gives the students more of a purpose when working on their assignments,” she said. “It is good to collect quizzes and tests, but what is the use if the teacher and students do not use this information for learning? Use the test results to guide instruction.”
Through her experience with this module, along with others in the Foundations of Formative Instructional Practices course, Renee has learned the importance of the FIP core components: Creating Clear Learning Targets, Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Student Learning, Analyzing Evidence and Providing Effective Feedback, and Student Ownership of Learning. These modules help pre-service teachers, like Renee, build their knowledge base and confidence about these crucial aspects of teaching as they prepare for field experiences and student teaching.
“I may not be as confident as I would like to be now in regards to being a successful teacher, but I will gain this confidence with time,” Renee said.
Renee began her field experiences last fall, and has had the opportunity to learn from teachers and students from a variety of districts and grade levels. As she begins her job search, Renee is open-minded and optimistic about her future in education.
“I started my college career as an undecided major. I am still undecided on what grade level I would prefer to teach and what kind of school I would be most interested in,” she says. “I am ready to serve any school to the best of my ability to influence children’s lives in a community classroom environment.”
Renee’s participation in the FIP modules has helped her realize the importance of intentional learning for her students. She advises her fellow pre-service teachers to hold these core components true for themselves as well. “Do not go through the motions of your college education,” she said. “Learn everything you can before becoming an actual teacher… do not be afraid to speak up and go full out in your opportunities to teach.”