By Kaitlyn York Contributing Writer
The Aspiring Educators of Maine club at UMF plans to host Tales From the Classroom once again this November. Tales From the Classroom, a Halloween themed event, has been hosted by the Aspiring Educators since the club began, according to current President and senior, Brian Eldridge.
“[It is an event that] that invites different educators from around the community, locally and nonlocally, to come and talk about their experiences in the classroom,” said Eldridge. “We have a range of grade levels and experience levels all the way from first year teachers to veteran teachers.”
The event includes a potluck to kick off the evening, which is then followed by a panel-style question and answer session. Vice president and junior Carson Hope said the club creates questions for the panel, asking about their stories from the classroom and advice on things club members are concerned about or would like to know more about from teachers.
The event then opens up and gives an opportunity for audience members to ask their questions. The stories are packed with “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” according to the club’s Facebook page.
“We invited all teachers who haven’t done it before so that we can hear new perspectives,” said Hope. “We also wanted to make a more diverse panel this year. In the past it has been a lot of secondary ed teachers, but we have a Secondary Ed teacher, a Special Ed teacher, and an Elementary Ed teacher this year.” Hope believes this is the first time there has been a special education teacher on the panel.
The club has made changes to the event over the years. The event used to be known as “Scarefest” and has since been changed to make it less intimidating, according to Hope. Aspiring Educators continue to host this event as they feel it is beneficial to prospective teachers.
“It gives some really valuable lessons and ideas for incoming teachers to understand kind of what they may or may not be able to expect, as well as, some of the everyday things that definitely happens that you can prepare for when you’re in the classroom,” said Eldridge.
People who have attended this event in the past seem to have enjoyed and valued the experience. Hope said people learn a lot from various experiences the teachers have had, including answers to questions that students may not learn about in their classes at UMF. Junior and Elementary Education major, Brooke Michonski, said she overall enjoyed and benefited from the event.
“I would attend again in the future because I think it is a very open place to be able to go and ask any questions that I have freely without fear of being judged and knowing that I’m going to get a direct answer,” said Michonski. “You can learn a lot from it, as an upcoming teacher I could always use advice from older teachers.”
This year’s Tales From the Classroom event will take place on November 1st in The Landing. The potluck will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the tales will begin at 6 p.m. It is a free event. For more information, go to the club’s Facebook page, UMF Aspiring Educators of Maine.