Thursday, May 30, 2024

LSUS education students have eye-opening experience at teaching summit

by BIZ Magazine

NEW ORLEANS – Vina Perez walked around the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in a state of awe. 

Perez was one of four LSUS education majors to attend the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2023 Teacher Leader Summit, and the number of booths, breakout sessions and educators swarming the halls was overwhelming. 

But the Haughton resident left the summit convinced that elementary education was the right choice for her. 

“It’s one of the best things I’ve done because they had all kinds of information and advice on a number of subjects,” said Perez, who attended the summit that lasted from May 30-June 1. “Learning these things now as student teachers helps give a hand up in different areas. 

“The best advice came from speaker Okhee Lee, who said that she could tell us about the different policies and what science says about learning, but when you are with the students and paying attention to them, you will know what to say or do to help them the most.” 

Perez was joined by fellow elementary education major Connie Aycock along with early childhood education majors Jessica West and Laura Reddinger. 

Students were selected at random to attend the conference through a drawing at an Aspiring Educators/Educators Rising club meeting at LSUS. All four students have either begun or will begin their one-year residency at local schools this fall. 

Dr. Joyce Farrow, assistant professor and interim chair of the LSUS College of Education, said the networking opportunities at statewide conferences are invaluable. 

“They have opportunities to sit amongst their future colleagues and learn from other educators outside of a classroom setting,” said Farrow, who accompanied the students to the conference along with assistant professor Lisa Cooper. “These educators range from new teachers to ones with 25 or more years of experience, so our students have various perspectives on a given topic. 

“Administrators from across the state also attend the conference, giving our students a chance to meet and mingle with folks who hold sway on who is hired within a parish or school system.” 

Perez appreciated the message delivered by Louisiana State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley, formerly of DeSoto Parish. 

“It shows he cares about the teachers and administration under him,” said Perez, a senior who will begin her residency in Bossier Parish and is on track to graduate in 2024. “I learned quite a bit and met some people who could help further my career as a teacher when I get out of college.” 

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