Front Row From Left: Georgiana Acabbo of Ridge Road Elementary School, Lisa Stanley of Montowese Elementary School and Diana Boroski of Montowese Elementary School.
Back Row From Left: Karen Ciarleglio of Montowese Elementary School, Jeanne Savoia of Green Acres Elementary School, Kate Giamattei of Ridge Road Elementary School, Mike Annino of Ridge Road Elementary School, and Beth Larkins-Strathy, associate dean of the School of Education at Quinnipiac University.
The School of Education at Quinnipiac University sponsored a three-day training session for area educators who aspire to mentor new teachers in the state’s Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program. TEAM is a collaborative endeavor focused on student achievement that brings together beginning teachers and trained mentors.
Held June 26-28 in the Curriculum Center on Quinnipiac’s North Haven campus, the training offered guidance for teachers who are completing the TEAM program’s five modules for mentors. Participants also learned best practices for mentoring student teachers and developing effective coaching strategies.
According to Kim Wachtelhausen, a trainer and facilitator for the state Department of Education, the School of Education at Quinnipiac is one of first in the state to offer this type of training for state teachers.
“It has been exciting to work with university leadership to further the TEAM program’s mission to bridge the journey from preparation through professional practice,” Wachtelhausen said. “The teachers who participated in the training were selected by their districts because they have demonstrated a level of excellence in their teaching practice. Using their own expertise coupled with this professional development now allows these experienced teachers to share their wisdom with both teacher candidates and those in their first years.”
Beth Larkins-Strathy, associate dean of the School of Education, said, “One of our goals for this training was to create a cadre of cooperating teachers who are interested in working with our student teacher candidates. The cadre will be composed of highly competent teachers who have the skills to support and guide beginners to become effective teachers. They also will be well versed in curricula, knowledgeable about child growth and development, use assessments to monitor student progress, and effectively engage students in learning. We were looking for ‘expert practitioners’ to become cooperating teachers for our student teachers because the clinical part of teacher training is the most critical.”
Administrators from participating schools recommended teachers to participate in the program. Teachers from Cheshire, Hamden, North Haven and Wallingford took part as well as educators from the School of Education’s two professional development schools, Fair Haven School in New Haven and Side by Side Charter School in Norwalk.
The School of Education also plans to sponsor a full-day workshop for the new cohort of cooperating teachers in September. They will be partnered with mentors chosen from the School of Education’s set of current cooperating teachers who will share strategies, experiences and ideas with the new cooperating teachers. In addition, Quinnipiac faculty will share the beliefs, dispositions and attributes excellent teachers exhibit as well as discuss the school’s philosophies about teaching, learning and leading.