UWF is helping teachers guide future generations
With a sense of humor and commitment to always being there for his students, Casey Fearon, 2008 Santa Rosa Rookie Teacher of the Year, has been able to find his passion through the TeacherReady program offered by the University of West Florida's Institute for Innovative Community Learning (ICL).
With a sense of humor and commitment to always being there for his students, Casey Fearon, 2008 Santa Rosa Rookie Teacher of the Year, has been able to find his passion through the TeacherReady program offered by the University of West Florida’s Institute for Innovative Community Learning (ICL).
“By observing veteran teachers, I’ve been able to learn techniques and to also expect the unexpected,” said Fearon, life science teacher at Gulf Breeze Middle School. “The important idea is for teachers to find a way to get a concept or point across using the methods that work for them. Teaching is an art form and just as with any art form, a part of the artist in invested in the art.”
Serving 16 states and six countries, ICL helps many teachers like Fearon realize their dreams of becoming educational leaders through alternate certification programs. Through the TeacherReady program, ICL offers recent college graduates or second career professionals throughout the world an option to receive a professional teaching license. TeacherReady is a state approved Educator Preparation Institute (EPI), a Florida option for alternatively certifying teachers.
“At ICL we work on professional development with K through 12 educators,” said Janet Pilcher, director of the institute. “Our goal is to help them improve their performance in their first five years of teaching.”
With UWF graduates making up 56 percent of the teachers in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties, ICL provides continuing education opportunities and support for local and international teachers, providing educational seminars and hosting expert presentations that bring together educators and the community. These events allow participants to work together to bring positive change by bridging the gap between educational and community efforts and expectations.
In June, ICL hosted a summer institute for designated teams of early career teachers from the Escambia County School District and their coaches as part of the New Teachers Teach, Students Learn Academy (NTTSLA). During the five-day summer institute, participants learned about classroom rules and procedures, classroom assessment and assessment of student literacy skills.
ICL also hosts the Jerry Maygarden Leaders for Education Forum in honor of Jerry Maygarden for his service to the community. The institute brings in experts from around the country to discuss pertinent issues in education and community endeavors.
“What we’ve really focused on at ICL is working directly with new teachers, especially ones in high-need schools,” said Pilcher. “At ICL we are passionate about helping teachers make a difference in the lives of their students.”
For more information about ICL, visit uwf.edu/icl.
By Megan Tyson, University Marketing Communications