Saturday, March 31, 2012

Be a S.T.A.R. Mentor!

Attention all mentors and buddies!
Do you want to continue your participation in the S.T.A.R. Program as a S.T.A.R. Mentor
What will YOU do to ensure a new student has the most positive SOE experience possible? 

We are presently in the process of recruiting current members to become S.T.A.R. Mentors for the Fall 2012-Spring 2013 scholastic year.  If you are interested in the position, please stop by Sullivan Hall G-6  with a completed application emailed to all members on Monday, 3/19.

Completed applications are to be returned to:
The Undergraduate School of Education Office
Sullivan Hall G-6
Monday through Friday after 1:40PM 

For more information on the process of becoming a mentor or to receive another application, please email the coordinators at
 All questions are welcomed

Monday, March 26, 2012

Topic of the Week: Extracurriculars

The most effective teachers know that the school day does not end with the sound of the final period's bell. Being actively involved in after school activities, whether it be coaching softball, running the debate club, or overseeing the student government, can make a teacher's school experience more  meaningful. As a leader of extracurricular activities, teachers may develop better relationships with students, teach them in ways not possible in a classroom setting, encourage school spirit, and overall enhance students' learning experiences in a positive school environment. 

What after school activities do you wish to lead? 
Will you coach a team or sponsor a student club? What do you anticipate will be the challenges and rewards of doing so?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Topic of the Week: Looking Forward

For many School of Education students, graduation is right around the corner. Student teaching is coming to an end, and it time to finalize post-graduation plans. For other underclassmen students, there is still much time left to plan. No matter what year a student may be, it is always a wise decision to have a tentative plan for life after college. Planning helps us to set our career goals, stay on track as undergraduate students, and be as best prepared as possible for the future.
There are numerous options for students after they have obtained their Bachelor's degree. Some choose to go right into teaching and begin the job hunt as soon as their final semester of college begins, while others plan to attend graduate school. Of course, many students choose to work full-time while also attending graduate school in the evenings.
What is your post-graduation plan?
Do you see yourself going straight to graduate school, getting a teaching job, taking time off, or traveling? Do you plan on applying for a teaching organization such as Teach For America or the Peace Corps?

A Shoot for the Stars

On March 15th, S.T.A.R. hosted the much-anticipated "A Shoot for the Stars" crafting event. With blank photo frames, 3D Stars, and other decorations in hand, our participants got to work on a multitude of crafts. Using stickers, glitter, markers, and even puzzle pieces, our participants created personalized photo frames to house the photo memories of the day. Having buddies and mentors work together, take photos, and make decorative photo frames along with beautiful 3-D blue stars for SOE's "Light It Up Blue" events allowed for an fantastic afternoon break from class. With music playing as photos and crafts were created, common hour flew by. 

We look forward to seeing everyone again for our final Bake Sale and Ice Cream Social!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Can We Improve STAR? Your Voice Matters!

We would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to complete our brief, 10 question survey on the S.T.A.R. Mentoring Program. Your feedback, whether positive or negative, is important to us. Your responses help us decide what to keep in the program, what we need to improve upon, and how we, as the coordinators, can best serve you.
Please click the links below to access the survey.
If you are a BUDDYclick here.
If you are a MENTORclick here

Monday, March 12, 2012

Topic of the Week: Memorable Teachers

For this week's discussion, let's reflect on the great teachers that have positively impacted our lives.

Think back on your years as a student, either before or during college.
 Can you recall the best teacher you've ever had? 
What made this teacher so memorable? Was it their teaching style, sense of humor, or the content they taught? What did you learn from them?
To see what they students themselves have to say, click here.
To read about the strategies of master teachers, click here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Topic of the Week: Teacher Data Reports

Arguably the "hottest" topic in education at the present is the newly-released teacher data reports. The New York City Department of Education just revealed the ratings of about 12,000 fourth through eighth grade public school teachers who teach Math, English or both. Teachers, administrators, parents, and even students themselves have mixed opinions on these teacher rankings, which are based upon  students’ gains on the state’s Math and English exams over five years and up until the 2009-10 school year.

According to an article in The New York Times, The ranking system is controversial for a number of reasons:
  • The higher teachers rank one year, the harder it is for them to sustain their high ranking by showing significant progress in students the next year.
  • The data are more than a year old and based on test scores that have been somewhat discredited.  
  • There are aspects of a child’s life — or distractions on test day — that the numbers cannot capture: supportive parents, a talented principal, the help of a tutor, allergies or a relentlessly barking dog outside the classroom. 
  • Students can change classes during the year, and teachers who have them in their classroom for less than a full year can nevertheless be assessed on those students’ performances.  
For the source of the information above and to learn more about the teacher data reports, click here to visit the article on The New York Times website.

For this week's discussion, let's talk about teacher rankings. 
How do you feel about the newly-released city teacher data reports? 
Is such a public reporting fair or accurate? 
How should teacher performance be measured?

Want to know how the teachers feel about it? Click here to read another recent article in The Times that highlights the decreasing teacher morale.