December 10, 2010

Event helps students transition to role as teachers

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An annual event that helps prepare new teachers for the challenges they’ll face in the classroom kicks off next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and includes a special session on dealing with the bullying issue.

The College of Education and Human Services will start its “Week of Transition” on Monday, Dec. 13. The event brings in student teachers who are graduating this month from SIUC for a series of presentations and workshops that assist their transition into the education workforce.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover SIUC’s Week of Transition. For more information, contact Jan. E. Waggoner at 618/453-2415.

Jan E. Waggoner, director of teacher education at SIUC, said the annual event gives University faculty and others a chance to work with student teachers one last time following their student teaching experience. More than 100 prospective teachers will attend the event, Waggoner said.

“Until the student has that classroom experience as a teacher, they often don’t realize the issues that come up, in terms of legal issues, student emotions and relationships, for example,” Waggoner said. “After they’ve been in the classroom, they’ve got a new set of eyes. So we bring them back to talk about those issues and help them transition into the role of teacher.”

Student bullying is one particular issue of recent national concern that the event will address, Waggoner said.

“Teachers are often the first to know about a bullying situation and the first to be in a position to do something about it,” Waggoner said. “We want our new teachers to know how to take action and know how to report bullying. Many times, kids will turn to the teacher first for help. So this is a session that is proactive in helping teachers recognized the signs and what bullying does to students."

The bullying session is set for 2-2:50 p.m. in the Student Center Ohio Room. The session will present new laws dealing with the issue and techniques on helping students handle bullying. Organizers also will provide some interactive examples of what teachers can do to be a role model to students and colleagues when dealing with bullying.

Other sessions during the Week of Transition event deal with topics such as grant writing, technology, parent-teacher conference, handling disruptive students and more.