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Field Specialists to Mentor Educators Earning Teaching Masters Degrees

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“The education and support I received during my time at Fordham, reinforced by an ethical and moral outlook toward work and life, gave me the courage to be an independent thinker and eventually start my own educational support business,” noted triple Ram alumna Jackie Frangis (BA ‘85, MSE ‘96, MSE ‘00) during this fall’s Field Specialist Orientation. “I am inspired by this opportunity to give back and am honored to be serving as a Field Specialist mentoring two elementary education graduate students working to earn their masters’ degrees.”

This fall, Fordham GSE’s Director of Field-Based Education and Accountability Karen Andronico, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Anthony Cavanna, and Professor of Special Education and Chair of the Division of Curriculum and Teaching Su-Je Cho, hosted a comprehensive field specialist orientation to welcome and support Frangis and all of the educators poised to serve as field specialists.

Some of the major topics covered in the program included Cho’s overview of GSE’s teacher education program, a synopsis of the field specialist role and general expectations by professor Marilyn Bisberg, and Andronico’s outline of how to prepare for and conduct a site visit and use the Fordham University lesson plan. GSE Director of Assessment and Institutional Research Teresa Colmenares also attended the meeting, and trained the field specialists in using TK20 for evaluation of field experience.

Bisberg specifically focused on the changing needs of children in schools and asked the field specialists to carefully consider, “How do we align our coaching and mentoring styles to next generation education standards in a way that ensures that our teachers successfully complete their pre-service teacher assessment and support programs?”

Following the orientation, experienced New York Department of Education teacher and field specialist Amy Boyd shared how excited she is “to support teachers in their own practices and to give back to younger teachers.” Commenting on the value of the field specialist program, Boyd concluded, “The Jesuit core values of social justice in service of the community are actualized in classrooms where teachers are being effective.”

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