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Southeastern Teacher Scholar Clancey Anderson works with her second grade students at Woodlake Elementary in Mandeville under the supportive eye of St. Tammany Link Teacher Casey Gleason, far left.
Teaching is a rewarding job, but a tough one, and many teachers, despite their initial idealism and dedication, drop out after just a few years. But the odds are that Clancey Anderson of Mandeville will be in it for the long haul.
Anderson is one of five first year teachers who are getting their classroom careers off to a good start through Southeastern’s Teacher Scholars Program.
“I really wanted to be a part of the Teacher Scholars Program,” said Anderson, who is teaching second grade at Woodlake Elementary in Mandeville. “I understand how much you can learn and how valuable the information is. It’s been wonderful.”
“The Teacher Scholars Program provides the mentorship and support that teachers need when it’s the hardest -- right in the beginning,” said the program’s director Dr. Sonya Carr, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning.
Southeastern pays the Teacher Scholars’ salaries, gives them the opportunity to earn a fast-track master’s degree, and places them in participating local school districts. In turn, the districts provide “Link Teachers,” master teachers who work one-on-one with the Teacher Scholars throughout that crucial first year. They also collaborate with faculty members in Southeastern’s College of Education and Human Development and provide guest lectures `for courses in the Department of Teaching & Learning.
|First year teachers participating in Southeastern’s Teacher
Scholars Program gathered on campus for a “welcome
ceremony” with program administrators and Link Teachers.
From left, are St. Tammany Parish Link Teacher Casey Gleason,
Lori Sibley and Hannah Cobb of Walker, Jennifer Davis of Denham
Springs, Clancey Anderson of Mandeville, Mary Tanguis of
Slidell, Livingston Parish Link Teacher Jennine Newsom, and Teacher
Scholar Program Coordinator Sonya Carr of the Southeastern
Department of Teaching and Learning.
Eighty-four Teacher Scholars have completed the program since it was established in 1998. “Ninety-four percent have received a master's degree in education from Southeastern and 96 percent are still teaching,” said Carr. “We are very proud of these numbers.”
Woodlake Elementary Principal Jean Krieger, a 1987 Southeastern graduate, said she has found Southeastern Teacher Scholars to be “heads and shoulders above any other applicants” for teaching positions at her school. “It’s absolutely a win-win situation for the school. Southeastern sends me the cream of the crop,” she said.
She praises the Teacher Scholars Program’s “practical” approach. “The things that the Teacher Scholars are studying are extremely connected to what they’re doing in their classroom,” she said. “While they’re getting a lot of theoretical preparation, they’re also learning practical things that are going to help them more about behavioral management, more about how to implement different kinds of curricula.”
Casey Gleason, who has a master’s degree and plus-30 from Southeastern, is the Link Teacher for St. Tammany Parish schools. “I’m not doing their work for them, but I’m right there with them, thinking out loud with them,” she said of her mentorship role. “Next year, when they’re on their own, they’ll have all the tools they need.”
“It’s just absolutely fabulous,” Anderson said of the support she’s received not just from Kreiger and Gleason, but also from Carr and fellow 2006 Teacher Scholars Lori Sibley and Hannah Cobb of Walker, Jennifer Davis of Denham Springs, and Mary Tanguis of Slidell. “Dr. Carr has so much wisdom and insight, all the little tricks of the trade that have been tried and proven to be true. It’s nice to be able to hear these methods and these strategies and turn around the next day and use them right here.”
“Having the support makes me feel more prepared walking into the classroom,” she said. “I want to be the best that I can be when I’m with my students. I want to make sure that I’m doing everything that I can to be a brilliant teacher for them.”