“The Phuture Phoenix program is one of the most amazing and inspirational programs I have ever been a part of. I wish more organizations were made to help students get the courage and mindset that they can do anything they want to do. It also made it 100% more clear to me that this is what I want to do. I want to become an Elementary School teacher.”
This quote is from a UW-Green Bay student who recently completed EDUC 295—the Phuture Phoenix education course for pre-service teachers. The class pairs UW-Green Bay students, many of them who think they want to become teachers, with students in Northeast Wisconsin’s K-12 schools. They serve as role models on a large scale field trip day designed to give students from disadvantaged backgrounds a glimpse of what college looks like. The students also work as tutors and mentors in the middle and high schools the program serves in an academic tutoring capacity. Additionally, the experience allows our incoming education students to assess very early in their college career if they really want to become teachers.
In the Phuture Phoenix class, students spend the first few weeks, going over the many learning dispositions they will need once they are mentoring students in the schools. They assess themselves both at the beginning and end of the class, identifying areas they feel they are strong in as well as ways in which they would like to improve. Dispositions such as multicultural competency, being reflective, continuous learning and creating a positive climate are discussed in detail. Many students may find themselves serving in larger urban schools where students may speak a different language or come from a different socio-economic group. Students who have taken the class often highlight how it helped them figure out if they really want to teach children in their future.
Partner schools are also grateful the program assists their students and gives them a vision of what they could do in their future. One of our teacher partners states,
“I believe this to be a positive life altering experience for my 5th graders. It is a real eye opener for them to find out what college is all about and that it can be obtainable for them in the future. College student role models coming into our school throughout the school year offers support and encouragement to our students to come to school and do their best.”
There are many ways that we can teach our students and enhance their college experience. The Phuture Phoenix program gives them “real world” experience working in our schools. It is one of the many ways to reach out and bridge their learning from the classroom to our community.
Stephanie Cataldo Pabich,
Phuture Phoenix Program