April 29, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Michaela Otranto of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. is a Mount Saint Mary College senior who enlightened young minds at Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School as a student teacher.
For Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidates like Michaela Otranto of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., the greatest and most rewarding challenge of their college careers comes at the end, when they put their education skills to the test as student teachers in area schools.
Otranto, a History major on the childhood and special education track, is student teaching this semester in a familiar locale: Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School, where she nurtured her love of learning more than a dozen years ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is where her own love of education began. Now she has the opportunity to “pay it forward” to a new generation of students.
“It’s so good to be back here,” said Otranto. “My student teaching experience has been nothing but amazing.”
The rigorous Education courses Otranto has taken at the Mount solidified her choice to become a teacher, she said.
“My classes at the Mount have prepared me tremendously for the teaching field,” she reflected, noting that she spent more than 200 hours participating in fieldwork prior to student teaching. She is grateful for this experience, as it has helped her grow as an individual and prepared her for her for a successful career.
Otranto has always known that she wanted to be a teacher, particularly at the elementary level. During her senior year of high school, she took a job as a daycare assistant, allowing her to more fully realize her passion for teaching the younger generation.
“The young years of a child’s life in elementary school are so important,” she said. “The children are still young, kind, and eager to learn.”
Shaping the minds of these young students is what continues to inspire her passion for education, she added.