Central’s college of education is top 10 largest in country

Centrals college of education is top 10 largest in country

Tera Stenhouse, Staff Reporter

Central’s college of education is one of the top 10 largest education programs in the nation, and Central has been preparing future teachers for 125 years.

Education students go through hands-on learning experience outside the classroom, or teaching practicum, as part of their daily routine.

Audra Saisslin, junior early-childhood education major, works at Mercer Creek Church, teaching kindergarten prep.

“I teach preschoolers thematic crafts that fit the subject they are learning. I will teach them a bible lesson, then we will do a craft, a worship jam and then they will act out a dramatic play for that lesson,” Saisslin said.

Saisslin said she always knew that she was going to be a teacher.

“It was the inevitable; what I am doing comes natural to me,” Saisslin said.

Saisslin also said that students cannot go into the education program with a closed mind.

“Don’t go into it thinking you know exactly what you want to do,” Saisslin said. “If you go in closed-minded, you won’t get what you want. Have an idea, but don’t be closed off to other ideas.”

Senior year, for education majors, is typically reserved for teaching practicums and student teaching. Jackie Stone, senior middle school math education major, said her teaching practicum at Mt. Stuart Elementary is helping to prepare her for student teaching in the fall.

“More time in my practicum means more practice with using different learning methods,” Stone said. “I am learning how to address students.”

Stone started experimenting with teaching when she was 13 years old as a teacher’s assistant in her musical theater class.

Being a teacher’s assistant “defined my passion for teaching,” Stone said.

Stone said she loves seeing students enjoying life and trying new things.

“Seeing the kids explore, asking questions and wanting to learn more is one of many favorite parts about this job,” Stone said.

Stone also said she learns just as much from her students as they learn from her.

“I am learning with them,” Stone said. “If I want them to be hardworking, then that means I need to be hardworking.”

Teaching practicums and student teaching are some of the last steps of the education program.

Central will help students create the paths they need to take to achieve their teaching goals.

According to the department, the college of education prepares the top educators, teachers and leaders for Washington’s schools.

Virginia Erion, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, suggests students get involved as soon as they decide to be in the major.

“See an advisor as soon as you can,” Erion said. “We want students that are passionate about teaching because you are helping to create the future.”