Neag encourages student to learn inside the classroom and out
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 00:10
For 5th-semester elementary-education major, Jackie Baril, teaching is not only what her professors do in class. Once a week, she travels to East Hartford to work in a kindergarten classroom all day as part of the curriculum in the Neag School of Education.
Baril wakes at 6:30 a.m. every Wednesday to get ready to travel to Hartford. The night before, Baril prepares everything she’ll need for the day, including her goals and assignments she needs to complete during the day. Once she gets to East Hartford, Baril observes her classroom teacher and gets involved in the class by helping individual children and working with children in writing and literacy activities.
Baril has outside of the classroom assignments at East Hartford as well. Last week, one of her tasks was to interview the reading specialist as well as work in the classroom. Baril usually returns to campus in the late afternoon and spends the rest of her afternoon researching lesson ideas for the next week and thinking over how her day went.
When Baril’s not in East Hartford, she’s taking a myriad of education classes, such as Educational Psychology, Educational Technology and Intro to Teaching.
All of the Neag classes are applicable to Baril’s success in the classroom, as they teach concepts that will help teachers manage a classroom and promote learning.
“In education psychology we learn about psychological principles like behaviorism and how children can be conditioned to do certain behaviors, like raise their hand, follow cues and we discuss applications of psych principles in the classroom,” Baril said.
Education technology teaches its students how to integrate and effectively use SmartBoards, iPads and other cutting edge technology in their lesson plans.
For second year students who are anticipating applying to Neag, Baril advises diligence and taking advantage of the numerous resources on campus to better your application process.
“It took a lot of time to put everything together,” Baril said. “I visited the Career Center for resume workshops, and the writing center for my essay. I wanted to make sure I put forth my best work, so the whole process took a lot of writing and revision.”
The stress of applying early so that she could study abroad in Florence, Italy, was worth it for Baril, who enjoys the gratification and fulfillment that comes with teaching.
“Teaching is social. I will not be stuck in a cubicle, but rather interacting with people and making an impact. It is rewarding, too, because you can see the joy on students’ faces when they grasp a concept,” Baril said.
When Baril is not in class or teaching, she’s practicing with the UConn tap team, teaching English as a Second Language in Mansfield or participating in Future Educators of America.