Mount student teachers take next step
March 16, 2015
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Stephanie Rivera’s love of teaching, and her students’ love of
learning, lead to a very lively fourth grade classroom at Bishop
Dunn Memorial School in Newburgh, N.Y.
Rivera, a Mount Saint Mary College mathematics major on the
childhood education track, says her student teaching placement with
cooperating educator Nancy Benfer is as beneficial to her as it is
to her students.
Under Benfer’s tutelage, Rivera, of Poughquag, N.Y., refined her
lesson creation technique, enhanced her utilization of Smartboards,
and improved her behavior management skills.
“Mrs. Benfer showed me great ways to get the class to bring
their attention back to the lesson,” Rivera explained, such as
counting down from three to one in a firm voice, or standing in
place and communicating with eye contact and body language only. “I
was very lucky to have Mrs. Benfer as my first placement. I’ve
learned so much from her.”
Benfer, 2004 Mount graduate, notes that “I’ve enjoyed working
with Stephanie. It’s been an excellent experience for myself and
for my students.”
Rivera is the third Mount student Benfer has mentored since the
beginning of the academic year. “The Mount always prepares the
student teachers very well,” she explained. “Each student teacher
brings something new into the classroom, and I learn plenty of new
things from them.”
Rivera revealed that the Mount’s education program “really
prepared me for my student teaching.” She added that Rebecca
Norman, assistant professor of education, was a major influence on
Norman “helped me so much with my language arts and how to plan
lessons,” Rivera said.
Elsewhere in the college’s vast network of student teaching
sites, Brian Kimbark of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., felt at home in his
student teaching placement at Van Wyck Junior High School in
Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
“I was a little nervous about teaching sixth grade,” said
Kimbark, a history major on the childhood education track, “but
this experience has been fantastic. I’m considering getting a
middle school extension now.”
Brian Kimbark of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., an education
student from Mount Saint Mary College, enjoys his student teaching
experience at Van Wyck Junior High School in Wappingers Falls,
Though behavior management is a learned skill for many, in
Kimbark’s case, it comes naturally. The teacher candidate is just
as proficient at training students in multiplication as he is
ancient Chinese dynasties, and though it all, the children remain
focused and attentive.
“I’ve found that if you show your students the same respect you
would want shown to you as a teacher, they will respect you right
back,” he explained.
He added that his cooperating teacher, Linnette Correale, is “a
great model for what I want to be doing in the class. It’s really
helpful to have someone who understands what I’m going
Had the Mount’s education program primed Kimbark for the
classroom? Without a doubt, said Correale.
“He came in extremely prepared,” she explained. “Within the
first week he was teaching classes. The kids love him. When he
talks, they listen.”
The Mount is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of
the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and The
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. It is also
registered by the New York State Education Department.