UNI tours Iowa schools to prepare future educators

While many students take field trips away from school, UNI students are packing buses headed to schools across Iowa.

Charles City Visit

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, 70 students and five faculty members in UNI's educator preparation program headed to Charles City to tour the state-of-the-art new middle school, visit classes, interact with students, and be part of student-centered learning.

"These type of visits to schools are critical for future teachers," said Vickie Robinson, associate vice provost for educator preparation. "During the education program, students can get very focused on the pedagogy and nuts and bolts of teaching. Day long visits to school districts remind our students that teachers are part of a larger community and allow them the opportunity to see how all the pieces fit together."

UNI educator preparation students spend a lot of time in schools during their clinical and student teaching experiences with a focus on classroom and hands-on practice. Additional school district visits like the one to Charles City allow future educators the chance to meet with teachers across the school system, support staff, instructional coaches, administration, and community members. These allow for sharing of best practices, and help students think beyond their roles as a teacher and understand the big picture.

“[This visit] made me start thinking about where I want to teach and the kind of people I want to work with. It was great seeing the administration I would like to work with and the kind of staff relationships they have,” shared Amber Winkel, a junior elementary education major to KMIT when asked about the visit.

The visit Tuesday concluded with a panel of the principals and superintendent. During the panel, they answered student questions, including what makes a successful teacher and what they look for in hiring teachers.