The field of education comes with a natural sense of collaboration, with many opportunities to get hands-on throughout the journey and to be immersed in the current trends and contexts of teaching. For students in the Trent School of Education this year has been an incredible opportunity to delve into real-world classrooms in evolving times.
“Now that I am in my second term and have been fortunate enough to complete my required placement hours in-person. I have been able to adapt to online learning and can now state confidently that my opportunities are in my hands,” notes first-year Teacher Education Stream student Rachel Hatton.
Staying active and placement opportunities within the Teacher Education Stream, have been key to Ms. Hatton’s strengthening of her social and academic goals, and how they apply to her developing skillset as an aspiring educator.
“I am beyond grateful for my experiences so far with in-person placements as they have given me the opportunity to connect with students and observe how different teachers handle all sorts of situations.”
Making connections through direct application
Undergraduate students in the Teacher Education Stream and teacher candidates in Bachelor of Education programs, were both faced with the reality that placements in schools would either be virtual or in-person, and that the scenario could change at any moment. In the case of Ms. Hatton, she was placed in a school; an experience she valued above anything else.
“To any future students enrolled in the Teacher Education Stream, do not take this time for granted. Receive as many placement hours as possible, even if you go over the required amount; you can never have too much experience! Above anything else, make sure that you are engaged with the academic content, and apply all content learned to your placement opportunities. If you are able to connect your learning experiences with your physical presence in a classroom, you’ll know you’re on the right track and that this is exactly where you’re supposed to be.”
Gaining foundational skills for careers in education
The Teacher Education Stream program is structured in a way that allows undergraduate students to complete a B.A. or B.Sc. in a subject area of interest, while taking one education course (with placements) each semester. The structure provides students enough time and experience to gain foundational knowledge in education, to decide whether being an educator in the classroom or beyond, is for them.
“I believe that out of all my courses, the Teacher Education Stream has been the most interesting and fulfilling for myself personally. My overall experience has been overwhelming with feelings of joy and belonging that I haven’t felt before. There’s something special about seeing a smile on a child’s face when they have accomplished their goals and are proud of themselves – it makes me proud to be going into this field.
Applications for many Trent programs, including the Trent’s Teacher Education Stream, are still open for fall 2021.