By Hope Faulkingham Contributing Writer

 The upcoming Student Teacher Professional Day is an opportunity for both student teachers and the community to learn about Civil Rights in the classroom and the effects of Proficiency Based Education on students.

   The event will cover two main topics that are very important to current and future teachers around the state. It will be split into two sessions, the first of which will focus on Civil Rights in the classroom.

   “We are very fortunate to have Brandon Baldwin, from the Office of the Maine Attorney General, working with us. He is the Project Director for the Civil Rights Team Project,” said Hiram Sibey, the main contact personnel for the event, through an email interview.

   The second session, which will be lead by Beth Lambert and Leeann Larsen from the Maine Department of Education, will cover the integration of the Proficiency Based Education into Maine’s classrooms.

   “The fall Professional Day is designed to provide student teachers with a professional development experience that will help them be successful as they start their careers as teachers,” wrote Sibley.

   Kelsey Marco, a former UMF graduate and now Elementary teacher at West Bath Elementary, added some good points about student teaching in an email interview. “I also think student-teaching gives you that hands on, authentic experience. You learn a lot as a teacher, just being in the environment of a classroom,”said Marco.

   “I had to plan math lessons, an expedition (science related, long-term project/unit), and writing units. I think that is the most important thing you learn… is to be a full-time teacher,” Marco said.

   Marco now enjoys having student teachers in her own classroom to give them the experience of planning and implementing their own units, while allowing her to observe her own class.

    These types of events are designed to help the current student teachers, the future

student teachers and community members better understand topics of high

controversy and discussion. “Events like this prepare our student teachers to be leaders

in education,” said Sibley. “Our goal is to prepare teachers to be able to grapple

effectively with the issues facing their students, and to meet the needs of every student

in their classrooms.”

   The event will be held on the 19th of October, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the North Dining Halls.