2008-05-30 / Schools

CLU student teachers learn at Flory

By Sylvie Belmond belmond@theacorn.com

A pilot program that puts student teachers from California Lutheran University to work in the classroom with professional educators at Flory Academy in downtown Moorpark has been a success, according to district and university leaders at a Moorpark Unified School district board meeting Tuesday.

Flory Principal Pam Hill and Michael Cosenza, a professional development coordinator for CLU, agreed on the outcome of the Professional Development School program that was implemented at Flory last fall.

"This has been a pilot year that far exceeded our expectations," Hill said. University students gain hands-on experience, Flory teachers have the opportunity to try out new things, and students have more adults available to them when they need attention.

Flory educators attended university workshops to learn mentoring skills, and student teachers had experience in multiple classrooms, where they worked with and observed seasoned teachers with a variety of teaching styles.

"It's not one-sided; everyone gains from their experience," said Coler. "Teachers and university student also share resources and materials. It's like a think tank, when you come up with new ideas, you have an opportunity to try them," she said.

The collaboration yielded a history grant that will benefit students throughout the district. School leaders also wrote another grant request to fund an after-school art programs at all elementary school sites in Moorpark.

The idea is modeled after teaching hospitals, where new physicians care for patients alongside experienced doctors.

The partnership between Flory and CLU will continue next year.

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