Student teaching challenges education majors
By Lillian DressierMerciad staff reporter
Tracy Wasson, a Mercyhurst
all juvenile delinquentsshould have to student teach be-cause sitting
the teacher's side of
desk would cure them.
It made me write a letter
high school teachers apologizing
how I behaved there,''
said.Wasson, an English Educationmajor, did student teaching in thefall and winter terms of 1987.
12 weeks I ate, slept anddrank lesson
shesaid. Pennsylvania requires collegestudents to complete a
their chosen area.
All though it
through this period, Wasson said
student teachingprogram is run by a departmentwhose teachers are quick to
help to students when needed. "Ireally enjoyed it I don't
Iwould have stayed in without thedepartment's help. They pointedout things I did wrong.** said JohnMajewski, who is graduating inMay.
'Before fulfilling! the State'srequirements, Mercyhurst has stan-dards
that must be
Sister Kathleen Cribbins, directorof student teaching.
added thatMercyhurst's liberal studies re-quirements and educational qualifi-cations for students' particular areasmust be
have almost a modelprogram as far as the state is con-cerned. We
really are in
high reputedown there,*
Sister Cribbins said."I went to several other col-leges, but came back here becausethey have
best student teachingprogram,** Keith Parry,
Sister Cribbins explained thatone of the reasons Mercyhurst'sstudent teachers
Program.; Once aweek, every morning or afternoonfor 20 to 30 hours, students mustpractice
they have learned
public school. "That's one reasonwhy our kids go into the studentteaching experience so ready tounderstand what's happening,Sister Cribbins said.
they make you workand
good.' * In elemen-tary teaching, Mercyhurst has an-other
tern Program calledPipping'* by the students. "Stu-dents
go out and work as
a teacher* saide three mornings a week," Dr.Barbara Weigert, director of ele-mentary education said. It is asophisticated program** becausestudents are gradually main-streamed into teaching a wholeclass, Weigert
1Dr. Barbara Weigert kept up todate on what we were doing. Hercomments were excellent Theybrought out my better qualities,"Sylvia McKce, a former student,said.
The Practicum Program doesn'tgive students a lot of opportunity todevelop
shot deal", said Sister PatriciaWhalen, Coordinator
the Pre-teaching Internship Program.In the Preteaching Internshipstudents go three consecutive daysso that they get a stronger feel of
whatthe art of
involves.*'During this program studentsmust keep a journal of their dailyexperiences
their reflections onthe art of teaching.
Fridaymornings we have a seminar toprocess the experiences of he week,and the students submit
theirweekly journals,** Sister Whalensaid.
I feelit is
appropriate.'*^ . L.
student teaching,grades seven through twelve, mustmeet
separate student teachingrequirements, according to EdwardGallagher, director of secondaryeducation. Gallagher said studentsare assigned to a junior
formiddle school! and then a highschool with him as their primarysupervisor.
ofthe secondary education depart-ment were very helpful. Mr. Gal-lagher was very helpful,** saidJackie Mauriello,
cer-tified in 1987.
If students miss classes morethan once,
"Chicken* SoupMan,** as the students have nick-named Gallagher, checks to see ifthey need help. "This gives them
yours as an
s not easy, but theare great. You'll haveForce advantagesdays of vacationeach year
much're a college graduatewill
Force recruiter forabout
and pilot trainingGreg
the the message that they have re-sponsibilities to
Gallaghersaid.The biggest problem with theStudent Teaching Program is thecalendar system, according to SisterCribbins.
calendar- they didn'task
she said.Sister Cribbins added that stu-dents must have everything donebefore they do student teaching.are full-time students plus studentteaching, and; that is hard. Plus,many of our students have to dosome part-time work
meet finan-cial obligations,* * Sister Cribbinssaid. I
you'restudent!teach-ing, the last
haveto be making tests,'* Wasson said.
* It's not a good
calendar for theeducation department because our
student teacher Tracy Wasson with some
Union City Middle School
to take major students teach until the Christmasrequirements.'
In reality our kids break. Therefore, they have
takeevening courses. Splitting
fit thelifestyles of students,'* SisterWhalen
Cribbins said that in thelast couple of years many adultstudents are coming back for certi-fication. Of 46 fall students ap-proximate! y five
olderadults. The older adults may have
from a liberalarts standpoint and now find theyare interested
teaching,** she said.
purehell.""It was really tough, it was achallenge to get everything done.Some of the students had to take
the evening,*' Majewskisaid. I
demands placed on thestudent teachers were very great
trying to be a full-time teachertoward
end of their program as
as being a student on campus,''Gallagher
hardestthings for her
between thestudents and her at East HighSchool. "Sometimes there's lessthan three years difference. Youhave to rememberyou^
theknowledge. Your attitude is whatmakes it," she said.
likes teaching lifestyle
By Michelle Bush
Merciad staff reporter" Passing
thancollecting $200 to Dr. Kenneth
a new English professor at
His novel. Passing
of the year'' in
and wasnominated for the National Book
been teaching for 10years and has a
Mercyhurst inSeptember 1987 for two reasons.First, he says he
to teach crea-tive writing.
always been interestedin writing. I never wanted to doanything
a sum-mer writers' program. "The Sum-mer Writers' Institute is a special
itsdirector, he explained that
pro-gram, starting; this summer, ismostly
high school students. But
added that it's open
Mer-cyhurst students who want to par-ticipate. The program is designed to
cultivate a student's proficiency inwriting short fiction and is like thecurrent writing fiction class."I like the lifestyle of being ateacher," says
"Teaching is aprofession which should allow meenough time to do my
and is especiallyhaving
time teaching Ameri-can literature this term. "I like
life of the mind and being aroundyoung people. I forget temporarilythat I'm not," he said.
who taught English at
College and New Hamp-
and teaching. He
goes to the YMC
A every morning at6:30 am.'
jog or play racquet-ball," he
"I try to do some-thing every day.*' He plays thebanjo. IPassing
took Schiff about ayear to write. He said the bookfeatures a young adult
a sanitar-ium and is about, "the sanity ofinsanity." The young man in thebook
"Mybrother had some hardtimes,
a quote from oneof
Dylan's songs, "You Ain'tGoin' Nowhere," which shows
protagonist in thebook "It's the notion that you ain't
no where. Doesn't
he says.Schiff recalls the day his bookwas published. "It felt great," he
He was at
a birthday party with
friends on a farm in Maine. Hereceived a phone call from NewYork announcing
person on the
YOrk could hear
cheering on the other end
smoked acigar," said
The reviews came soon after."They were positive reviews, so Iwas real pleased,'
He gotan offer for a movie option and agood review from the
a single explanationfor why a writer writes. "It's whatI do best And I feel compelled towrite" he said. "It feels good tohave written, which isn't the samething as saying it's fun to write."Schiff said many people writetoday. "It
just about impossible toget
po-tential! writers: "Write. Sit downand
write." He said writing is amatter of discipline.
a writer should write forseveral hours everyday,
atit, according to
Schiff is working on anotherbook, but like many writers hewouldn't divulge any informationon a work in progress.