An Inside View from a Student Teacher: Starting the School Year

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How do new professionals learn a set of skills, routines, and knowledge necessary to success? 

Whether it’s the field of medicine, banking, automotive maintenance or teaching, students in those fields learn as much or more on the job in intern or residency experiences with experts as they do sitting in classrooms. The apprenticeship always has been a key way that expertise is transmitted forward from one generation to the next.

Student teachers learn on the job as apprentices with Albemarle’s top teachers. Here’s one example of many.

Yarden Batson, student teacher at Meriwether Lewis Elementary with master teacher Anne Straume, shares her perspective on what she learned as she watched and assisted Mrs. Straume in the first week of school.

First Week of School

by Yarden Batson, University of Virginia student teacher

This week of school was one in which I learned how to set-up the classroom, h“>ow to become a part of a professional learning community (PLC), how to start establishing a community of   learners, and how to create authentic lessons that motivate students to have high expectations for themselves.community (PLC), how to start establishing a community of learners, and how to create authentic lessons that motivate students to have high expectations for themselves.

After almost a week of planning I was excited to meet the students. They walked in on the first day of school ready to learn. Many of the students were excited to see friends they haven’t seen in a while as well as meet students who are new to the school.These first few days of school required a lot of planning and creativity. My teacher and I want to design authentic learning experiences for the students as well as create a community in which all students’ strengths are used. We want to motivate all of our students to work their hardest and learn that they have the power to achieve great things and make positive changes in the world around them.I taught my first few lessons this week as well as observed as the teacher encouraged struggling students, went over expectations, and modeled appropriate classroom behavior. I feel so lucky to have a teacher, who is so well-loved and so enthusiastic about her students, model and guide me through this experience.I am looking forward to a wonderful semester of student teaching!

Below are some pictures from “Open House” and a sneak peek into what we are planning for the semester.

Why We Are Here: Albemarle Schools 2014-15

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This summer I had the opportunity to observe young learners and teachers working in a variety of settings across our community. From teens exploring what it means to be an “everyday” leader through community service to elementary engineers and programmers, I noticed learners who engaged and excelled in their work.

Staff in our schools understand that achievement gaps often begin with opportunity gaps. We are committed to providing year-round programs and pathways that close opportunity gaps for students. Whether it’s the work we are doing to revamp Career and Technical Education, extend customized options such as our academy model and charter schools, add fine arts pathways that provide more in-depth exploration of creative potential, or offer accelerated options such as the M-Cubed program, we believe that we need to keep working on as many ways as possible to reach every child so that gaps in educational opportunities do not limit their potential.

It’s why we are here.

avid AVID is one such program, In Albemarle, our AVID program has grown in 8 years from serving a handful of students to serving several hundred. Today, teachers with AVID training are in all middle and high schools aiming to make sure that our young people, especially those who are the first generation in their families to go to college, are well prepared to do so. We aim to beat the odds that a student will drop out of college or spend too many years attempting to graduate. It’s an issue of concern for our nation and  state.   

Why AVID Makes a Difference ….   By:

Kathryn Baylor, principal
Peter Henning, asst principal

For years, educators and education reformers have cited the achievement gap as the greatest challenge facing public education in America.  Some have gone so far as to refer to the achievement gap as the greatest civil rights issue of our time.  As the years have passed, closing the achievement gap appeared increasingly impossible.  There were too many contributing factors, from poverty to violent neighborhoods to fractured homes.

avid

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) offers a real solution to the achievement gap.  AVID is a worldwide college and workforce readiness system that serves close to 700,000 students across the globe.  With an instructional focus on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading, AVID helps prepare students for success in high school, college, and beyond.  The AVID elective class provides an additional layer of support for students, largely from low-income and minority backgrounds, who show the potential to become first generation college students.

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AVID is a phenomenal investment for a school.  The national network of AVID schools and staff offers some of the best professional development available in public education.  The AVID system also serves as a no-frills, no-nonsense model with proven success for schools and school divisions committed to closing the achievement gap.

 

AVID students gain acceptance to four-year colleges at a rate that is nearly 3 times greater than their peers across the nation.  This holds true for students across all demographics, from African American to White to Latino.  AVID students are succeeding, and at an astounding rate.

AVID is not magic.  AVID is great teaching, and hard work, and commitment.  AVID works.

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