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Below The Surface

Friday, May 20, 2011

ECHO's Impact on Pre-Service Teachers

Below is an excerpt from Jackie Stacey, a Junior and pre-service teacher from the Department of Education at St. Michael's College who took part in the Spring, 2011 semester of ECHO's Inquiry Science in the Schools project. Her commitment of 80 hours of practicum experience working directly with Burlington School District 3rd graders has had significant impact on her career trajectory. ECHO was lucky to have such a dedicated, emerging educator in our midst. We have grown from our association with Jackie and all the support staff and faculty at St. Michael's College.

Tracy Truzansky,
ECHO Assistant Director of Education

"If I could use one word to describe my experience at ECHO Inquiry Science in the Schools (ISS) project> I would, but there is no way I can simply choose a single phrase. This practicum has pushed me in ways I didn't think were possible, I was challenged on a daily basis to understand new material, utilize inquiry science, and provide a vital learning experience to six different classes of third grade students. I was forced to analyze my own disappointing experience with elementary science and harness that energy to create a positive and successful learning environment for the students placed under my care. Looking back on my semester and the time I spent with this program I can confidently say that if given the opportunity I would gladly repeat it; not to say that this was an easy course by any means, but because of the hard work and dedication I have come out on the other end feeling that much more prepared to become a professional teacher.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to become a teacher was the fact that I knew I could make a difference. In high school I spent two weeks in the Amazon Jungle in Peru working at a school. If I could make changes happen for these kids in just two weeks, the possibilities would be endless of what I could do with a class in a year. I have gained so much from this program; confidence, teaching strategies, content, and most importantly a new found love for science. I have never been more excited to take what I have learned and use it. I have the opportunity to be a great teacher, and ECHO has played a significant role in this endeavor. Students will continue to graduate from Saint Michael's College and become very talented teachers, but not many will be able to understand the experience I have had with ECHO and how it has completely prepared me for the professional world of teaching."

- Jackie Stacey,
St. Michael's College Pre-Service Teacher

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