Educators Know How to Educate
“UE students are in the classroom starting freshman year through senior year. They have teaching placements almost every semester starting as an incoming freshman. Whereas other students sit in class and observe, our students are involved. They work with the kids and the teachers. By senior year, our students have all the training and experience they need to succeed. One hundred percent of our education graduates spring 2016 had job placement.”
Amy McBride, PhD
School of Education
I want to be where the students are
Prior to her career at UE, Amy taught fifth graders in elementary education. In 1997, she moved to Evansville and began her path toward higher education. She took on a part-time teaching position at the University of Evansville but transitioned to full-time within a year due to her love of UE. “At UE the students want to be here. They want to learn. They say please and thank you. Though this sounds like a little thing, in this day and age, manners are very important and tell a lot about a student’s character. They work hard and are enthusiastic about what they learn.” After 20 years at University of Evansville, McBride emphasizes that UE is her home. It is her family. She knows that her coworkers will support her in all of her endeavors and projects. Perhaps most importantly, she can see the difference she makes in her students’ lives every day.
McBride spends quality time advising her students, assisting with résumé building, and writing recommendation letters. The benefits of this one-on-one attention is obvious: One of her students received multiple job offers soon after graduation; another student has won the Milken Educator Award.
The Internship of a Lifetime
The junior year internship program allows elementary education majors to spend half days as student teachers; in the fall, students focus their courses on reading and language arts, and in the spring, they review math, science, and social studies. “By senior year, our student teachers combine those two halves. They feel much more confident and know what they are doing, which gives them an advantage over others in their field.” Amy has high standards for her interns. She explains, “I expect them to assist the teacher and not be a burden. They are writing lesson plans, teaching lessons, grading papers, assessing the student, and truly working hard.” This program is completely volunteer run, and these students make a real and lasting impact because of their willingness to work and take initiative.
Education Majors Can Study Abroad
Though UE’s education program is rigorous, students have plenty of study abroad opportunities. Since 2007, Amy has led of group of students on a two-week trip to Trinidad and Tobago. This experience counts as a class credit. Students teach in the primary schools, experience the local lifestyle, live in the villages, and learn about the regional culture and customs as well as about themselves. Other students have been to Mexico, Cuba, and, of course, Harlaxton College.
Domestic travel is also a possibility. Amy and a group of her top students spent spring break 2017 in the low-income inner city of Atlanta, Georgia, at the Ron Clark Academy. The team studied the academy’s excellent faculty as they used unique methods and techniques in their classrooms. This experience greatly impacted Amy’s team as they learned that all the students from the academy will attend college when they graduate high school.