About the Adolescent & Young Adult Education Program (video)
[Dr. William Kist, Associate Professor] I’m Dr. William Kist, and I’m currently the coordinator of the Adolescent & Young Adult Education Program here at Kent State University. I’m also an English Ed associate professor. The Adolescent & Young Adult Education Program encompasses four major subject areas: English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science. But even though we have four different subject areas, we really are unified in the way we think about teaching young people.
[Dr. Lisa Borgerding, Assistant Professor] There are some typical experiences that a student would have in our program. Within the first year or two, the student will primarily focus on their content courses. And then eventually they’ll start within their cohort, and they’ll have their first field experience in their Principles class, in the fall usually of their junior year. For a senior year, a typical student would start their year-long internship at a single school. It’s usually a high school or a middle school context.
[Mike Love, KSU Alumnus & Teacher at Stow HS] I decided to enter the teaching profession because I really enjoy working with students. I really enjoy helping them – in math, but also just in what they’re going through in life. I think there’s a lot more about teaching than just the content we’re going through in school. So I really enjoy just listening to them, helping them, because I believe that they’re going to make a huge difference in our world in the future. So I like to be a part of that.
[Rubye Richard, Senior] It’s extremely challenging on a day-to-day basis being a teacher, but the most rewarding thing about teaching is definitely the students’ reactions. Once you give them the student teacher evaluations, reading the comments, reading that “You’ve impacted my life in some way, I’ve learned these skills from you” – that’s most rewarding, that’s why you go into the profession.
[Mike Love] Faculty at Kent State did a great job of just pushing me beyond my comfort zone and having me do different projects, different things that really forced me to work hard – to talk with different students, talk with different faculty members and really get a good experience. So that when I came here, when I got my first job, I was able to see, okay, this is what’s going to happen, this is how things are going to go. The faculty did a great job of helping me to see that sometimes things go wrong in a lesson. Sometimes you just have to go on instincts or do different things and change things up. They did a great job of showing me that.
[Kerry Ward, Junior] So far, my favorite was my Freshman Honors Colloquium professor, Matthew Shank. He’s fantastic; he runs his classroom excellently. It was an Honors class, so it was very discussion-based, and he really let us talk about what we wanted to talk about as long as it was related to everything. And he made the class really interesting, like it pertained to us individually but also as a whole class.
[Mike Love] Being here at Stow, it’s really – Teaching’s a tough job, and I really realize that. It’s difficult, and you deal with totally different things every day. But it is awesome when you see a kid finally just get it, when you see them start to really understand something, or when kids have those conversations with you where you can tell that they trust you and that they want to help themselves. So that’s a lot of fun. I love it when you see those lights go on in the kids’ minds.
[Dr. Kist] I think our program is set apart because we really put a priority on getting our pre-service teachers out into real schools and interacting with real kids, as opposed to sitting in a classroom on a college campus. From the very beginning, we are wanting our pre-service teachers to have those experiences with adolescents, working with them in everything from after-school settings to teaching classroom lessons.