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Western Carolina University – School of Teaching and Learning expands with virtual connection

The Western Carolina University School of Teaching and Learning has excellent working relationships
with local school systems in instructional partnerships.

Now, thanks to the virtual connections made during the pandemic, primary education
The program extends beyond the immediate geographic area to the Triangle to a greater
teaching experiences. WCU students observe teaching, interview elementary school students
and teach remotely.

Kelly Tracy, director of the School of Teaching and Learning, described the opportunity
to work with the Wake County School System as a way to " visit "urban schools with
various demographics.

"This also created a unique experience for our students to experience what it is like
to be a virtual teacher, something that many would not have the opportunity otherwise. of
experience, "Tracy said." It also helps meet the need for our students to work with
Teacher teachers known for their work using culturally sensitive teaching practices,
an important premise of the educational program. Culturally responsive teachers see
the assets that all of their students bring and work to ensure that they create a
environment in their classroom. ”

The new partnership began when two faculty members of the School of Teaching and Learning,
Melissa Faetz and Bob Perkins, working with the College of Education and Allied Professions'
Office of Field Experiences, they re-created an image of the field experience for the second semester of primary school
that students of education and inclusive education are virtual. The course work where this
experience has four co-requisite classes for students who are learning how
to teach math, reading, writing, and science.

“I absolutely wish they could be in a classroom next to the students, but this
The unique experience has provided knowledge and opportunities to our students, who now
do their internship in person next semester with a deeper understanding of teaching, "
Tracy said." The opportunity to apply what they are learning is invaluable. "

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