Teacher education students recently presented professional strategies and techniques to their peers and heard from veteran teachers about student engagement at the KnightED Talks Student Showcase hosted by the School of Teacher Education . The showcase provides an opportunity for students to present at a conference prior to graduation and learn from their UCF teacher-candidate peers. High school students participating in teaching academies in their districts also joined the showcase this year for the first time.
Lee-Anne Spalding, associate lecturer of elementary education and a co-chair for the showcase, says it was a rich learning experience for all. “It was great to see college students learning alongside high school students. As teachers, they will need to engage in professional development for recertification and to hone their teaching skills. The showcase prepares them for this — for continuous learning in the teaching field."
Presenter Caitlyn Bailey, pursuing her bachelor's degree in elementary education, says she chose her presentation topic based on what worked well in her internship. While she thought her approach was something new to share with her fellow teacher candidates, she was thrilled to learn they hadn't heard of some of the books she shared until now.
In Bailey's presentation "Choose Your Own Adventure," she shared a series of choose-your-own-adventure books and stories connected to multiple content areas, which she says can motivate reluctant readers, improve comprehension and fluency, help students develop their critical thinking skills and make connections to their own lives.
Bailey is grateful for the opportunity to share lessons from her own studies and experience with other future teachers. “Attendees commented on the impact my presentation had. It is a great feeling to think about the future students that could benefit from my presentation because some of the future teachers who attended my presentation can then take what they learned back to their classrooms.”
Bailey says she also found other presentations especially helpful for her own teaching practice. “The showcase gave me a chance to learn from the experiences of other interns at schools different than my own, as well as watching co-teachers Chris Pombonyo and Nikhail Slaughter during the lunch and learn, which was an amazing chance to learn from veteran teachers.”
The showcase brings back alumni each year. Pombonyo ’12, Seminole County Public Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year, and co-teacher Slaughter ‘12 both received their bachelor’s degrees in elementary education at UCF and gave a lunch-and-learn, which included a live model lesson with their third-grade Midway Elementary School students. Their varied yet similarly-engaging styles gave teacher candidates a range of tools to take back with them to their own classrooms.