Connecting in the Classroom
Like many aspiring teachers, School of Education student Christa Sassano ’12 has always wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. But what separates her and her Pace classmates is that they not only have the tools, but also several years of student-teaching experience to begin making an impact. “
At Pace, we start [student-teaching] a year earlier than most other schools,” Sassano says. “I feel so prepared. I’ve seen so many strategies that the teachers have used. When I started out, I was nervous to even stand in front of students. Now it’s second nature.”
Part of the five-year master’s program, Sassano earned her bachelor’s degree in childhood education and will graduate with her master’s in special education in 2012. During her time at Pace, she has completed four student-teaching positions, including one that gave her the tools and strategies needed to become a special education teacher.
“My methods courses really helped. They broke down ways to teach things to children. You think you’re good at math, then you go to teach it and it’s completely different. The classes gave me tons of ideas to help teach,” Christa says.
One of the reasons Sassano wants to be a teacher is to have the same kind of impact on students that her teachers have had on her. She says of Pace School of Education Professor Ainsley Adams, “He put his all into every single thing he did. Whether it was getting there at 5:00 a.m. to set up experiments or videotaping our lessons for us, he was passionate about the profession and truly wanted to help us.”