Mount teacher-candidates flourish in classrooms of their own
November 14, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Megan Torpey of Oakland, N.J. teaches her students a song to remember rounding number rules during her student teaching placement at Fostertown Elementary School in Newburgh, N.Y.
As brightly colored leaves danced through the air one chilly autumn morning, Megan Torpey of Oakland, N.J., taught her fifth grade students at Fostertown Elementary School in Newburgh, N.Y. a different kind of dance – one to help them remember number rounding rules.
“Five and up, bump it up! Four and below, leave it alone!” she sang as the students echoed her hand motions and giggled.
Torpey, a senior History major on the Childhood Education track at Mount Saint Mary College, said her student teaching experience confirmed what she’s known for a long time: She made the right career choice.
“Student teaching has made my confidence in my future skyrocket,” she remarked.
The teacher-candidate had a solid teaching foundation prior to stepping into the classroom, thanks to the Mount’s stellar Education program, which places students in classrooms for fieldwork beginning in freshman year.
“Throughout my education courses, I have been taught how to successfully structure a lesson,” Torpey explained. “I’ve used what I learned at the Mount…and it works.” Student teaching “has made me unbelievably excited for my future,” she added.
Torpey said that the experience has not only allowed her to blossom as an instructor, but has also given her the chance to network with seasoned professionals in her field – including her cooperating teacher, Jennifer Hayes MSEd ’08, who is a Mount graduate.
“The most rewarding part of student teaching thus far is the relationships I have made,” said Torpey. “From my cooperating teacher to the students, I have built many relationships that I see lasting.”
Over at Newburgh Free Academy, fellow student teacher Matthew Anastasi of Salisbury Mills, N.Y. was busy teaching a poetry lesson to high school seniors.
Matthew Anastasi teaches a poetry lesson to high school seniors at Newburgh Free Academy in Newburgh, N.Y. as part of his student teaching experience.
An English major on the adolescent education track at the Mount, Anastasi also experienced a new sense of confidence after teaching a full schedule of high school courses.
“My first lesson in the classroom, I was incredibly nervous; the same can be said for my second and third go-round,” he reflected. “However, once I got to know the students and know my class, teaching became an instant joy.”
Anastasi also had the opportunity to apply his skills as an English major by assisting the students in writing their college application essays.
“One day after class, one of my seniors came up to me and told me she was very stressed about applying to college,” he explained. “We sat down together during one of my prep periods and broke down the Common App process while researching nursing schools in the New York area.”
His extra effort was well worth it.
“My student let me know how calming it was talking to me, and that she and a group of my students thought I was their favorite student teacher they’d ever had,” he explained. “I was moved. That was the moment I realized I was undoubtedly on the right path.”
The Mount is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. It is also registered by the New York State Education Department.
Graduates from the Mount’s Division of Education go on to be highly-sought after educators in the Hudson Valley and beyond.