Master's Level Student Teachers at Wesley
We are excited to share about a new partnership Wesley is forming this year with Georgia State. We have long desired to have additional adults in our classrooms to strengthen instruction differentiation, support classroom management, and build a creative and innovative teaching culture. Starting this year, Georgia State Master's Level Teacher Education Students will be student teaching at Wesley. We believe this is an opportunity to build up our teaching teams and help us stay current and up-to-date on new methods of leveraging data, teaching, and more.
PYP Principal Dr. Debbie Satterfield said, "I'm excited about the partnership between Wesley and GSU because it allows us an opportunity to be part of a process that helps shape and develop future teachers." Having identified some of Wesley's teachers committed to supervising and mentoring our teacher candidates, these classrooms will provide a safe space for student teachers to ask questions and reflect on their teaching practices while transitioning from their role as teacher candidate to a classroom teacher.
Sarah Feltrop is a student teacher in 4th grade this year and says two of her greatest passions are helping children to reach their full potential and sharing her love of learning. "When the events of 2020 impacted the field of education," she says, "I felt called to put my passions into practice and pursue teaching."
Vyctoria Bess is student teaching in kindergarten and says for her, teaching is an opportunity to inspire children to be the best they can be inside and outside of school. "As a teacher, I am one of the first influences the children encounter," she says. "My goal is to make it a positive impact. I love children and appreciate the potential they have. I want to encourage them to dream bigger than they ever have and understand that there are no limitations. My motto is 'The best way to predict the future is to create it,' as Abraham Lincoln said."
We believe our students will benefit from this relationship in multiple ways. Satterfield points out that having an additional adult in the learning environment reduces the student/teacher ratio. She says, "The added adult increases instructional options for students and increases student engagement. Having an extra pair of hands also allows more attention to students."
We know the program will also benefit our own teachers and the teacher candidates as well. "Our goal is to assist teacher candidates as they work to further their professional growth potential while under the supervision of Wesley's master teachers," says Satterfield. "As lifelong learners, Wesley knows how critical it is to invest in continuing professional training." She notes that this practice means the teacher candidates will have access to all of Wesley's researched-based professional learning sessions. Satterfield believes the collaboration and rich discussions stemming from these professional learning opportunities will significantly benefit Wesley's teachers and the GSU teacher candidates.
"I can hardly put into words how excited I am to have the opportunity to be at Wesley this year. Working with the amazing staff team and the fantastic students have been everything I could have hoped for and more," says Feltrop. "It has been clear to me from the moment that I walked through the front door that this is not just a community, it’s a family." After she graduates, Feltrop hopes to serve the students and community of Atlanta in her own classroom.
Bess says she believes she is part of the best Kindergarten team ever. "I appreciate the relationships I cultivated with my mentor teacher, the faculty, and my students. The pairing was perfect. It is also a great experience to get the full school year experience in the role of a teacher," she says. She hopes to be working in such a positive and rewarding environment as Wesley when she graduates.
We are excited to be partnering with GSU this year, and we expect it to be a multi-year collaboration. This ongoing collaboration seeks to benefit Wesley teachers, GSU teaching candidates, and our students in the classroom.