Teacher candidates visit Altus Academy
On April 28th a group of Elementary Education teacher candidates traveled to Altus Academy in Chicago. Altus Academy provides college preparatory education to 2nd-8th grade students from historical minority groups, low-income families, and first generation college graduate households.
The NIU teacher candidates were paired with Altus Academy 2nd and 3rd grade students and spent the day mentoring, encouraging and providing one-on-one academic support. Each of the academy students were assigned a character from the Laura Ingalls Wilder novel, titled “Little House in the Big Woods”. Together the NIU teacher candidate and Altus scholar prepared a tri fold presentation board, oral presentation, costume and props to be presented and shared with other students, administrators, parents, and guests during the culminating activity – the “Character Café”.
“It was such a great experience visiting this school because all of the kids had such high spirits and smiles on their faces. Seeing how proud all of the parents were when they came to see the projects was so heartwarming,” said participant Katie Krewer.
Teacher candidates gain classroom experience in Texas
The week after concluding their NIU classes in May, a group of 20 teacher licensure candidates departed for Houston Texas to teach alongside mentor teachers in the Aldine Independent School District (AISD).
Students observed in classrooms, prepared for and instructed lessons, tutored small groups, and engaged in co-teaching strategies and skills development. NIU teacher candidates further enriched their experiences participating with students, host families and community members in a variety of extracurricular and community events.
This clinical experience in an out-of-state urban school setting is funded by the College of Education through generous gifts by our donors.
Elementary Education student Emily Svec reflected on her recent experience, “…it is so valuable. I am already learning so much. I can feel my perspective growing – I Know that I will carry this forward with me as I become a teacher.”
Veronica Riva, Early Childhood major, also was thankful for the experience, “During this time I really felt like a teacher, and I loved it!”