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Freshmen Get Field Experience!

‌For four weeks in October, freshman University 110 students participated in an immersive classroom experience. All students were placed in either Marion County Schools, including The Academy of Early Learning, Britton's Neck Elementary, Easterling Primary, Johnakin Middle and Marion Intermediate, or Florence School District 5 schools, including Johnsonville Elementary, Johnsonville Middle and Johnsonville High. All of these schools are Title I schools and allowed the freshman education majors to experience a diverse group of learners. Our students had first-hand experiences in the classroom in collaboration with their cooperating teachers, and they were able to participate and engage in the classroom. This unique experience during their freshman year allows our students to enter the classroom earlier than is typical for an education major.

After students submitted their requests for placements at the beginning of the semester, Mrs. Betsey Costner worked with the schools and coordinated 167 placements for the students. At the culmination of their experience, the students reflected in a Field Observation Report. This report allowed students to write about their experiences in the schools and focus on the physical classroom, classroom management, and assessment.

The students all had varying opinions after the experience was over. Tyler Gross spent her experience at Marion Intermediate. She stated, "I learned so much during my field experience, but, most importantly, I learned that in order to be a great teacher you need to learn how to love your students first and, when you do that, the teaching part will be easy." Kaleigh Tarabek was placed at Johnsonville High School, and she appreciated how the field experience prepared her for career in education. Kaleigh said, "The 110 observations put me in a 'real life' situation and taught me that I, as an educator, will need to offer up real-life scenarios. Those few days out in the field were worth so much for me going forward. The field experience also showed me many different avenues and possibilities within teaching that I could explore as an educator." These experiences are extremely beneficial to the students in their pursuit of a career in education.