College of Education’s Grand Seminar preps teacher and school counselor candidates for the field
More than 220 teacher and school counselor candidates at the University of Missouri–St. Louis spent Friday soaking up education best practices at the Grand Seminar conference.
Organized by the College of Education, it was a day of big-picture questions like: How is school changing to prepare students for the world of tomorrow? And what effects do bullying and depression have on academics?
Field experts hosted a total of 32 breakout sessions focused on addressing such questions in the areas of school psychology and educational leadership. Administrators, counselors and professors presented research, tactics, projects and field experience that offered the candidates tips, tricks and food-for-thought to carry into their student teaching and future careers.
Cindy Kiser, a candidate in the college’s Teach in 12 program, which makes teachers out of industry professionals in 12 months, was most excited about picking up some creative approaches for teaching English language learners.
“It’s nice to have information on why things are the way they are, but we also need strategies,” said Kiser, who was interested in the sessions on teaching literacy through visual arts, music and dance.
The regional increase in ELL student populations has her looking to expand her teaching style.
Kiser used to work in customer relations at Enterprise Rent-A-Car before moving to China and teaching English. She’s since returned to the U.S., earned her TESOL certification and works as a social studies teacher at Ritenour High School while she completes her certification at UMSL.
She found the morning keynote given by UMSL Assistant Teaching Professor Thomas Hoerr helpful.
Hoerr presented his education philosophy based on five success skills: empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity and grit. Honed during his 34 years as head of New City School, Hoerr believes every student needs to grow equally strong in these five skills just as much as they need to master math, science, reading and writing to go on to life successes.
“Who you are in life is more important than what you know,” said Hoerr, who preaches this line regularly.
His presentation outlined his book “The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs,” which every attendee received free courtesy of the College of Education.
The college hosts four Grand Seminar conferences each semester focused on different specialty areas. The final two Grand Seminars for the spring 2018 semester are happening March 2 and May 4.
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