LPM Staff

ASU programs boost future teachers

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If you or someone you know has been thinking about becoming a teacher, this may be an ideal time.

Arizona State University (ASU) offers two programs that give students an opportunity to get hands-on, classroom experience: one is the TEAMS program, which is also a fast track to certification, and the other is the ASU-Metro Tech Writing Center.

Through ASU’s Teacher Education for Arizona Math and Science (TEAMS) program, people with a degree in math or science – or a minimum of 24 credit hours in a math or science discipline – and a desire to become a secondary school teacher can gain valuable experience in a short time.

ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College on the Polytechnic campus offers the TEAMS program. Students can earn an Arizona teaching certificate in one year and a master’s degree in education after a second summer of coursework.

Middle and high school principals are in search of teachers with degrees in math and science, especially with strength in chemistry and physics – despite budget cuts in education. “As experienced math and science teachers retire, there is a shortage of individuals with a strong background in those content areas to replace them,” says Molina Walters, clinical associate professor in Teachers College. Walters was a science teacher for 16 years in elementary, middle and high schools. Now her focus is on educating future science teachers.

On top of taking university courses, students in the TEAMS program also teach one semester at a local middle school and another semester at a high school. Of course, they get support from mentor teachers and ASU faculty.

Scholarships, grants and loans are available, including the STARR Noyce Scholarship specifically for science students. Applications are now being accepted for the next TEAMS class, which begins in June. For more information about TEAMS, contact Megan Gamarra at 480-727-1084 or megan.gamarra@asu.edu. You can also visit http://education.asu.edu/content/future-students.

For those more interested in writing and language, the new ASU-Metro Tech Writing Center program, which just opened in April, teams ASU education majors and ASU Downtown Phoenix students with Metro Tech High School students. University students provide one-on-one tutoring and assist high school English teachers with struggling writers. In turn, the university students get hands-on experience preparing for teacher careers.

The program is already receiving kudos for innovation and creativity. Developed by ASU English Education professor Dr. Jim Blasingame, faculty head of Languages and Cultures Dr. Barbara Lafford, and Metro Tech assistant principal Evie Cortes-Pletenik, the writing center is staffed by ASU students who tutor Metro’s students on their writing skills for individual assignments. The ASU students receive credit hours and fulfill 90 hours of field-experience requirements for their teaching degrees.

Currently, seven ASU tutors work at the writing center, a number the program would like to raise to 20. The writing center is in a re-purposed classroom in the Metro Tech technology center and open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tutors work with individual students or small groups, teaching writing skills based on state standards while honing their skills as teaching interns. They also earn 90 hours of field experience.

The ASU students realize how valuable this partnership is for their careers. “This opportunity has been more rewarding than any of us had anticipated,” says Alina Sur, a junior at ASU’s Tempe campus. “Now [I’m] able to see education through a different lens due to this experience.”

“This is not just a learning laboratory for the ASU students,” says Cortes-Pletenik. “Our students see young men and women just a few years older who are becoming professional educators, and they begin to understand what it takes to become a college student and what is expected of them.”

The assistant principal says the next phase for the ASU-Metro Tech partnership is to have ASU students train Metro Tech students to become peer mentors themselves.


Camp Compassion for young animal lovers

The Arizona Human Society (AHS) has a very difficult job. Not only is their mission to improve the lives of animals, it is also to alleviate their suffering. The organization is also committed to humane education efforts, and one way they accomplish this is through their summer program, Camp Compassion.

Campers ages 7 -14 receive a blend of humane and character education in a fun and creative environment, where compassion is practiced and not just preached. The young campers learn the six pillars of character and their importance to all creatures grandes y chicos and their responsibility to those creatures. Deemed “homeless animal ambassadors” by the end of the program, campers are encouraged to take their newfound knowledge to their schools and classmates and share what they’ve learned about compassion for animals – and each other.

Camp sessions begin in June and run from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Parents can register their children for one day ($50), 3-day weeks ($135) or full 6-day, two-week sessions ($250).

For more information about Camp Compassion, please e-mail humaneed@azhumane.org or register online at azhumane.org.

Camp Compassion
Nina Mason Pulliam Campus
for Compassion
1521 W. Dobbins Road, Phoenix

Session I: 6/7 – 6/9
Session II: 6/21 – 6/23

Session I: 7/12 – 7/14
Session II: 7/26 – 7/28

Who’s your afterschool hero?

Calling all parents of young students: Who is responsible for diffusing your hijos before you pick them up after work? Gracias a dios for the people who devote themselves to a job that those more naïve may see as glorified babysitting. Oh, on the contrary. Education doesn’t stop when the bell rings.

The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence is now accepting nominations for the annual Awards of Excellence, recognizing afterschool staff, programs and leaders throughout the state for their exemplary work in delivering quality child development programs in afterschool settings.

Awards will be given in 3 categories: individual, program and leadership. Afterschool programs, staff and administrators serving Arizona youth in grades K-12 in programs outside of the regular school day are eligible for an award. Candidates may be from nonprofits, public, private or faith-based programs, or any other program that supports children and youth after school.

Winners will be announced at the Spotlight on Afterschool Awards of Excellence Luncheon, Wednesday, November 9, in the Grand Ballroom of the Arizona Biltmore Resort. Nominations must be received by Wednesday, June 15.  For more information and guidelines for submissions, visit azafterschool.org. To receive nomination forms by mail or email, contact Caitlin King at 602-496-3308 or caking@azafterschool.org.

Get off the couch and go to rec

Ah, the summers of youth, escaping the heat and boredom in the air-conditioned school cafeteria. Hours were filled with games of carom, ping-pong or four square, eating suicide snow cones and popcorn. Oh – and lessons were learned on respect for your fellow humanos, eye-hand coordination and healthy competitiveness.

Well, thankfully budget cuts haven’t killed this program and “rec,” as we used to call it, is still around. The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is offering fun, affordable full-day recreation programs at 12 locations across the Valley starting in June to help parents keep their kids active, engaged and safe over the summer break. Community centers also are offering a full schedule of general-interest classes and programs for people of all ages to get active, learn new skills and have fun.

Exact prices, dates, times and other details in the full-day recreation programs vary from center to center; however, most are for kids ages 6 to 12 and run from early June through July.

Prices range from $280 to $350 for the seven to eight weeks. Some centers offer shorter duration program options at a reduced price. Many centers also are offering programs for teens.

Participants can register online with any major credit card or register in person at any department community center or administrative office. More information is available at phoenix.gov/parks in the Classes and Programs link. Information on the parks, programs and facilities of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is also available online or by calling 602-262-6862.

Be spontaneous – go to Prague

This summer will mark the sixth year for the Prague Education Abroad program through Gateway and Mesa Community Colleges. High school students, college students and lifelong learners (now, that’s a wide net) can all take advantage of this life-changing opportunity and travel not only to Prague, but to neighboring countries like Germany, Poland, Hungary and Austria. Different courses are offered, for credit or not, on topics like art history, political science, cinema and international business – a bonus to the whole experience.

For more spontaneous adventurers, space is still open for the first summer session, which begins at the end of this month. A second session begins in July.

New to this year’s first session is a course called Introduction to Holocaust Studies, which will integrate the Czech Republic and nearby countries as a “living laboratory” of how Fascist ideology impacted this part of the world, and its lingering impact on the Jewish community under Hitler’s regime. Students will go to the Schindler Museum in Krakow, Poland, and tour the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Travelers stay at exceptional residential and academic facilities. They participate in site visits, tours and excursions, and meet with Czechs who were dissidents during the communist regime and also those who participated in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, a 10-day uprising that earned Czechoslovakia its freedom.

The total cost of this journey is around $2500 and includes virtually everything but airfare: tuition, lodging, weekend excursions, guided tours to many historically fascinating places and unlimited transportation in Prague.

Time is of the essence. For more information, contact Susan Mills at mills@gatewaycc.edu or at 480-242-8358, or Diana Bullen at dbullen@mesacc.edu or 480-461-7221, for program fee and tuition requirements.

For other details on the Prague program and courses offered, visit http://globalpraxis.us.

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