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Partnership with central Indiana schools creates win-win for UIndy School of Education

University of Indianapolis School of Education students traded their spring break for the chance to give back and gain valuable experience in the process.

Teaching majors Mizraim Aguilar and Heather Wignot taught at Cathedral High School during spring break. Both will graduate in May 2017.

Mizraim Lorenzo-Aguilar, left, and Heather Wignot
Mizraim Lorenzo-Aguilar, left, and Heather Wignot

Aguilar, who specializes in Spanish teaching, taught two classes. He appreciates the real-life experience in the classroom, as well as the preparation that is incorporated into the School of Education’s curriculum for student teachers.

“I believe the preparation has been great because we are not just thrown into teaching. The program does a very good job at helping us prepare for what to expect, how to lesson plan, how to communicate effectively with students, teachers and administrators. They continue to help us throughout the student teaching placements, so we are not alone,” said Aguilar.

That built-in experiential learning is a crucial component of the program, and UIndy’s partnership with local schools makes it a win-win for all participants.

“Not only are students completing their ‘internship’ and capstone experience for their UIndy degree and State of Indiana teaching license, they are also providing service to the districts by engaging K12 students in rich learning experiences,” said Colleen Mulholland, interim dean, School of Education.

Wignot, a French teaching major, appreciates the hands-on classroom experience.

“Student teaching has prepared me because I have learned things about teaching that you can’t learn in a classroom. I think it is imperative to have student teaching in order to practice and move past the theoretical parts of teaching and into the more practical,” Wignot said.

Mulholland says the generosity and expertise partner schools provide to UIndy student teachers is invaluable.  “We could not prepare high quality educators without our partner schools. They help maintain coherence across the clinical and academic components of teacher preparation,” she said.

For Wignot, the profession offers the chance to give back. “I pursued teaching because I am passionate about languages and helping others,” she said.

Both students are eager to put their skills to use after graduation. Aguilar said he enjoys working with middle school students, but is open to pursuing positions either in middle or high school settings.

“This profession has been a dream for me since I began to think about becoming an educator. I have many people to thank for helping me accomplish this dream,” Aguilar said.

After graduating in May, Wignot is seeking a French teaching position at a middle or high school in the Los Angeles area.

Learn more about School of Education programs.