Updated: Sep 4
One of my favorite things about TCSJ that is pretty consistent across the board is that the instructors teach you to be better teachers through collaboration and modeling.
The Pre-Service program (pre-requisite program to the IMPACT Intern Program) is filled with practical hands-on experiences and deep discussions with your peers, and this continues into the IMPACT program. In my Mod/Severe Education Specialist cohort, for instance, we spend a lot of time collaborating on how we can differentiate instruction for a spectrum of students.
I teach 4th-8th grade, so I have a wide age and skill range. One activity we were able to successfully differentiate for all learners over the summer was a Life Skills cooking lesson where we made s’mores. Before I did the lesson, I was able to discuss it with TCSJ peers who were doing similar types of activities with their students. Not only did I get ideas on how to run the lesson more smoothly, but I got to share what I was doing differently and how it might be useful to them in the future as well.
S’Mores Cooking/Life Skills Lessons
Teacher Cassie’s Class, Summer 2021
Students were given a differentiated recipe that had both text and picture instructions.
Students learned microwave/kitchen safety and were able to cook their s’mores themselves, with varying levels of independence.
Finally, students completed a differentiated activity review, where they wrote their answers or circled pictures to indicate how they liked the lesson and their s’mores.
So, if you are wondering if TCSJ will give you the skills and experiences to deepen your understanding of teaching and help you become a better teacher... the answer is yes. A hard yes.